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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939 

Facts, Features and (occasional) Fallacies 
reported in Cambridge Newspapers 

summarised by 
Mike Petty 

Most of these stories originally appeared in the Cambridge Daily/Evening/News or the 
Cambridgeshire Weekly News, its sister title. 

They are supplemented by some articles published in the 
Cambridge Independent Press or Cambridge Chronicle 

Most were featured in my ‘Looking Back’ column in the Cambridge News from 1996-2014 

The complete ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook’ of which this is a small section is published online at 

I have digital and other copies of most of the stories summarised. 

I hope to publish these online one day. If you would like them in the meantime then please get in 


The original volumes are housed in the Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library 
where there are many other indexes dating back to 1770. 

They also have detailed newspaper cuttings files on over 750 topics that have been compiled since the 


Newspapers sometimes get things wrong. I copy things out incorrectly. Do check 
There are a multitude of spelling and layout errors. Please forgive or correct them 
News never stops but this file was finished on 31 August 2016. 

I will maintain supplements and corrections - contact me for anything you need 
Please make what use of these notes that you may. Kindly remember where they came from 
See my website - for further notes. 

Mike Petty, Stretham 

www. mikepetty. org. uk 

Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

These notes form part of 

A Century of Cambridge News, from 1888 

A Century of Cambridge News 
Compiled by Mike Petty 

Dedicated to John Pink, Cambridge’s first Librarian, 1855-1906 and 
Charles Henry Cooper, compiler of the Annals of Cambridge 

And to the Librarians who tried to preserve their vision of a 
‘Cambridgeshire Collection ’ 

Made freely available as a ‘Thank You ’ to all those who have helped 
me discover something of the story of this great City 

Please appreciate what it contains and correct the errors and 


Mike Petty 
28 June 2016 

For other stories covering this period search ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897 to 1990’ on the site and then scroll down to the appropriate years 

For stories covering the rest of the war in Cambridge search ‘A Century of Cambridge News from 
1888’ on the site and then search ‘c.45.7’ 

For other more Cambridge-orientated political activity search A Century of Cambridge News from 
1888’ on the site and then search ‘c.33’ 

www. mikepetty. org. uk 

Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

Stories about Cambridge military activity and international politics 1920 to 1940 as reported in 
Cambridge Newspapers 

1920 02 03 

Union of Democratic Control attempted to hold ‘Bolshevik’ meeting but disrupted by undergraduates; 
senior proctor, T.R. Glover, hit by flour bomb; speaker Norman Angell rescued by police - Ch 20 02 


From outbreak of war have been pacifists proclaiming against action taken against Germans who 
would have moved heaven and earth to bring war to early conclusion. They possess not a spark of 
British pluck . . . led Cambridge gaining reputation as hotbed of Pacifism. University tried to stop this 
vile work; now opposition to such pro-German propaganda and return of pacifist Bertrand Russell to 
Trinity. Should prohibit pacifist meetings - Ch 20 03 lOd 

1920 06 02 

Memorial Unveiled. The parochial war memorial in connection with St. John Hills Road, Cambridge 
was unveiled last (Tuesday) evening by Bishop Price, Archdeacon of Ely. The memorial, which was 
designed by Mr. A. P. Macalister takes the form of a tablet in the south wall of the chancel. 
Underneath the representation of a dove hovering over a field of battle, is a polished brass plate 
bearing the names of 45 men of the parish who fell in the war. The memorial is in Hopton Wood stone 
in early English style, and was executed by Messrs. Leyton and Leach 20 06 02 CIPof 

For reports of the unveiling of other parish war memories see Century of Cambridge News section 

1920 07 13 

Training disable soldiers - 100 in classes for diamond cutting, clock repairing, jewellery, carpentry 
and joinery and bespoke tailoring; men come from around the country - CDN 20 07 13 

1920 09 15 

Borough War Memorial. — Statue of Soldier Recommended. Station Road Corner Site. A meeting was 
held at the Cambridge Guildhall yesterday (Tuesday) of the Monuments Sub-Committee of the 
Cambridgeshire Joint War Memorial. The meeting gave its final consideration to the suggested 
monument, for the Borough of Cambridge. The sculpture and architect were in attendance and 
explained their scheme, which the Committee agreed to place before the General Committee with the 
recommendation that it be adopted. The architect for the Record in Ely Cathedral regretted that he had 
not been able to complete his revised plans but hoped to do so by the end of September. The 
Committee decided to meet again on October 2nd to consider, this scheme and to interview the 
architect. 20 09 15 CIPof 

1920 12 01 

Bolshevism in Cambridge - Comrade Stewart, a bewiskered paid Bolshevik agitator and organiser of 
the Communist Party at meeting on Parker’s Piece - Ch 20 12 Ola 

1920 12 08 

British Empire Union branch established in fight against Bolsheviks - Ch 20 12 08d 

1920 12 29 

Disabled ex-servicemen employment, 18 men being trained in tailoring, 12 each in jewellery, clock 
repairing and carpentry, 40 in diamond-cutting; photos in English Leather Co boot repairers and man 
driving traction engine - Ch 20 12 29a 

1921 02 09 

OT.C. mock battle in Kingston - Gt Eversden area; cottage gutted - photos - 21 02 09b, c 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

1921 11 26 

First Poppy Day collection made on 26 November passed smoothly (not done by undergrads); 
undergrads asked that this collection be organised entirely by their committee & take full 
responsibility that no incidents [38] 

1922 02 1 1 

Dinner to recognise war work by Special Constables [4. 12] 

1922 04 28 

A service of commemoration for the members of the college who fell in the war was held in the 
Chapel of Jesus College. Immediately after the service the memorial tablet was dedicated by the Lord 
Bishop of Ely. After a short service, the Master, amid a silence so intense that it could almost be felt, 
read the names inscribed on the memorial. It was an impressive scene - the clergy and choir in their 
surplices, row after row of gowned undergraduates, many of whom had also served, and a sprinkling 
of visitors from the outside world, all paying silent tribute to the 148 names read by the Master CDN 
c 28.4.1922 

1922 05 

County War memorial dedicated Ely Cathedral [4.2] 

1922 07 04 

His Royal Highness the Duke of York unveiled the War memorial which has been erected in 
Cambridge. The ceremony was attended by thousands of people and was of a deeply impressive 
nature. It was raining heavily as the Prince mounted the platform for the unveiling ceremony. The 
band played the opening bar of the hymn "O God, our help in ages past" to the accompaniment of rain 
drumming on hundreds of umbrellas. A few minutes later the rain ceased and the rest of the ceremony 
was carried though amid brilliant sunshine. The Prince pulled a rope which released the drapery 
revealing the bronze figure of an infantryman c22 07 04 Was not bronze statue but plaster cast 
painted bronze; pouring rain threatened melt plaster; (new site on island 27. 1.50, moved by 3.85) 

1922 07 1 1 

The model of the soldier on the Cambridge War Memorial which, owing to an unavoidable delay, had 
to be used for the unveiling ceremony last week, has to-day been replaced by the actual bronze, so 
that the figure now in position is as it will be seen for all time. The bronze was brought from the 
foundry at Thames Ditton by motor lorry at four o'clock this morning. Mr Kett and ten men were in 
waiting and so expeditiously was the work carried out that by 8 o'clock the model figure had been 
taken down and the other set up and fixed in its proper position. A couple of hours later the 
scaffolding was removed c22 07 11 

1922 07 15 

Boys damage remains of Barnwell military hospital where boiler house & one complete section of 
wooden hutment left, site overgrown [4.16] 

1922 07 29 

“No more war” demonstration held [2.6] 

1922 08 04 

The "No More War" demonstration held on Parker's Piece, Cambridge, was attended by a gratifying 
measure of success. The procession extended more than half the length of Gonville -place, and the 
crowd at the meetings held on the Piece afterwards was so large that the two platforms provided were 
not sufficient, and a motor-car had to be requisitioned for the purposes of a third meeting. In addition 
to the banners of the various societies there were numerous bearing inscriptions such as "For Peace 
and Freedom" (Women's International League), "Patriotism is not enough", "Cambridge Sisterhood 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

says No More War". In addition there were scores of bannerettes bearing the words "No More War". 
Mrs Nevinson referred to the number of deaths from influenza in 1918 which was really a war plague. 
They kept the memory of the dead alive but did they remember the maimed, the blind, shell-shocked 
and the mad?. No one was worrying about those men c22 08 04 

1922 11 

First Poppy Day rag : procession of ‘animals’ toured town with police escort, one of happiest rags 
ever seen’ [38] 

1923 06 12 

The annual Inter-Varsity military tournament was held on the University Rifle Range, Grange Road 
when Cambridge beat Oxford by six events to 4. Perhaps the most popular event was the tent pegging, 
which reached an extremely high standard. One rarely sees it done better at Olympia. The artillery 
drive, too, was extremely well done. Some regular artillery offices in the audience, the hardest critics 
of all, seemed somewhat sceptical about it when the team drove into the arena, but after the first-time 
round their criticism changed to praise. The events won by Cambridge were the R.F.A. Alarm race, 
the individual jumping, the half section jumping, tent pegging, wrestling on horseback, and the 
cavalry dummy thrusting but they were beaten by Oxford in the cable laying competition. Oxford’s 
other successes were the bayonet fighting, the artillery driving, and the tug of war c23 06 12 

1923 07 30 

Cambridge men and women of all shades of political opinion, and a number of children, associated 
themselves with the world-wide demonstrations that were held to express the determination that there 
shall be no more war. The Cambridge demonstration took place on Parker's Piece on Sunday 
afternoon. Prior to this a procession marched to the war memorial. It was headed by the Salvation 
Army band. The Cambridge town branch of the League of Nations Union was the first of the 
representative bodies, with three large appropriate banners bearing the words "No more war." The 
Cherry Hinton band also took part, and in the rear of the procession came a pathetic little band of 
"hunger marchers" from Sheffield with their own banner c23 07 30 

1924 01 28 

The 203rd Field Company (Cambs) Royal Engineers celebrated their fifth reunion and dinner. In 
January 1915 the War Office had asked whether an engineering company could be raised in 
Cambridge. Great efforts were made but many of the youth had already joined other units. However a 
start in recruiting was begun and they were able to get a few men together. Their headquarters were in 
East road but when numbers began to increase they had moved to Ely, March, Whittlesey and 
afterwards Wisbech. They had no regular Engineer officer to take command of the unit but that grand 
old volunteer, Colonel Harding, although he was then nearly 70 years of age, undertook the job c24 
01 28 

1924 11 26 

Mr Mettlebury gave a short sketch of the beginnings of Fascism in Cambridge. It had started with a 
group of men who went with St Douglas Newton at election time to ensure him a good hearing. Some 
were merely there in the hope of a ‘scrap’ but others had ideals. After this group had formed into the 
Cambridge Fascist Society assistance had been offered to various candidates, including Mr Firth as 
Constitutional Labour Candidate, to ensure them a hearing free from organised rowdyism. He felt 
confident that British Fascism in Cambridge would prevail c24 1 1 26 

1925 04 13 

About 120 members of the 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment are spending the Easter weekend under 
canvas at Madingley. The Cambridge-St Neots road acted as part of the front line of a British force 
which was endeavouring to repel an invader marching on London. The Norfolk Brigade was ordered 
to take up position from Oakington to Comberton. The work was carried out under service conditions 
& proved exceptionally difficult on account of the wooded nature of the country in front c25 04 1 3 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

1925 10 16 

Speaking at the dance organised by the National Fascisti at Cambridge its President made an appeal 
for more University members of the party. It was not an organisation of hooligans but advocated that 
this country should be ruled entirely by those of British birth and British descent and not by aliens. 
They were not prepared to allow Jews to join. They had the courage of their convictions and were 
prepared, if necessary, to meet force by force. The dance was an unqualified success. There were 
close on 300 present c25 10 16 

1925 11 

Undergraduates take over sale of poppies [38] 

1925 11 15 

“We the undersigned, convinced that all disputes between nations are capable of settlement by 
diplomatic negotiation, hereby solemnly declare that we shall refuse to support or render war service 
to any Government which resorts to arms”. The declaration having been signed by members of the 
University they called a public meeting. The hall was nearly filled with undergraduates but a section 
of the audience showed their displeasure by continual interruption. Mr G.L. Trevelyan spoke of the 
horrors to be met in the next war, and was greeted with the remark: “No they will kill us nice and 
cleanly in the next war” c25 1115 

1926 06 12 

Peacemakers pilgrimage to Cambridge - “love, not war”, met by Mayor, Mrs Hartree [1.9,1.19] 

1926 06 22 

One of the contingents of Women Peacemakers who are converging on London from various parts of 
the country arrived in Cambridge. Meetings had been held in village after village by the side of the 
war memorials. They were met by members of the local Pilgrimage Committee and proceeded to the 
Market Hill where an impromptu meeting was held. They carried various banners and red and blue 
flags. Mrs Rackham said the gathering recalled the great Women’s Suffrage Pilgrimage of 1913 when 
crowds gathered on the same spot. The Pilgrims leave for Saffron Walden tomorrow c26 06 22 

1926 06 22 

A meeting of the Women’s Peacemakers’ Pilgrimage was attended by a large audience at Cambridge 
Guildhall. In the next war they would have aeroplanes dropping poisonous bombs that would destroy 
civilians who had never been near the firing line. They must create such an atmosphere of repugnance 
that the nations dare not go to war. There were hundreds of people in Newmarket who were not yet 
converted to the idea of the League of Nations and it was their duty to make converts of al who had 
not yet joined them c26 06 22 

1926 10 23 

OTC range Grange Road closed due to danger to Coton, moves to Coldham’s Common [1.10] 

1926 10 30 

The Officers’ Training Corps range on Grange Road, Cambridge, has been closed down, having been 
condemned by a Military Board on account of the danger to Coton. The Cambridge University Rifle 
Association will for a time carry on shooting at the Territorial range on Coldham’s Common. But 
there is a likelihood of this range being closed down too in the near future because the new road in 
course of erection will come up behind the butts. A united effort will be made to secure a sufficiently 
large area of land for the erection of a new, full-sized range c26 10 30 

1927 05 14 

Oswald Moseley, MP for Smethwick, jeered at Guildhall meeting. A few years ago he came as a 
Conservative, now Labour and refused hearing [2.9] 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

1927 07 

Anti-war demonstration Parkers Piece [456.2.7] 

1927 11 13 

Gloucester Street workshop for disabled soldiers in Cambridge, opened by Princess Mary last year, is 
represented at an exhibition at the Imperial Institute. Their stall contains all kinds of basketwork, 
knitting and other things made at the workshops. At present there are eight men working there. All are 
of over 60 per cent disability through the war, and one is of over 90 per cent. The workshop can never 
be a paying concern but good work is being done in enabling the men to earn sufficient money to keep 
them “off the dole”. Colonel Willis, the secretary or Miss Brearley, manageress and instructress, 
would be pleased to see anyone interested. c27 11 13 [4.10] 

1927 11 14 

Two of the proudest men in Cambridge are Mr H.A. Hagger and Mr F.C. Fuller who were in charge 
of the stall of the Disabled Men’s Workshop, Gloucester Street, at the Imperial Institute. It was the 
only stall attended by the actual men who made the goods and the contents were completely disposed 
of by mid-way through the week. The Queen bought a pair of heather-mixture socks and a waste 
paper basket. The Duchess of York bought a fancy rush stool remarking “It will do for Princess 
Elizabeth for the nursery”. By the time the Prince of Wales visited they had nothing left to sell him. 
c27 1114 

1928 06 17 

There are now 12 men on the books of the Cambridge Disabled Soldiers Workshop in Gloucester 
Street. Three have had the right arm amputated, seven the leg and of the remaining two one suffered 
from the effects of gassing and injuries to the head and the other from severe injuries to the abdomen. 
Half were employed up to the 48-hour week and the maximum wage was 36s a week to the foreman. 
In addition to the basket and rush work and wool knitting they were developing the knitting of silk 
stockings, jumpers and ties, the re -upholstering of chairs and the making and renovating of mattresses 
c28 06 17 

1928 06 20 

Sir - I happen to live opposite the field-gun in Tenison Road. It is not a relic of the Great War but a 
captured trophy from the Boer War. To me it represents history and the enormous sacrifices made by 
the pick of our population. Our war memorials tell our children of a great deliverance. Had we been 
defeated no doubt we should have had more hideous monuments, probably statues of the Kaiser and 
the boastful Hindenburg, at which some of the pro-Germans could kneel. Let these small tokens that 
speak of victory over injustice be preserved for all time - C.J. Challess c28 06 20 


“Frequent & bitter disagreements within Labour Party over matters such as admission of 
Community Party members to their meetings, participation in a united socialist campaign against 
fascism organised inl930s by now-notorious Communist don, Maurice Dobb & disagreement on 
Labour’s role in WW11, which provoked resignation as parliamentary candidate of universally- 
respected Alex Wood, a pacifist - who could not support a war government. Although the party 
majority voted against co-operation with the Communists & in favour of participation in the coalition 
of 1940-45 large minorities favoured the extremist approach ” [7] 

The fermenting process of Left-wing thought amongst intellectuals gathered in intensity as the 
apparent national prevarication over Nazidom & Fascism became a matter for disgust ... Moseley in 
Cambridge ... developing interest in things socialist easily dismissed as the flexings of naive morality 
among young there were many who meant business ... John Cornford who as undergraduate 
gathered a band of believers and set out to work positively for the improvement of the conditions of 
the working class. [2.17] 

In almost every celebrated spy scandal since the 1950s there has been a thread leading back to 
1930 's Cambridge. Then, gripped in the gloom of economic depression as the clouds gathered for 
another war, many thinking people were in ripe mood for questioning the values of capitalism. 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

Fascism was gathering ground under the leadership of Oswald Moseley (who spoke in Cambridge), 
there were hunger marches and many young men took part in the Spanish Civil War. In such a 
climate the KGB homed in on Cambridge as a breeding ground for espionage. CEN 23.1 1.1979 

1930 07 21 

The annual ‘No More War’ meeting of the Cambridge Peace Council was held indoors instead of on 
Parker’s Piece because of heavy rain. But accompanied by the Boys’ Brigade Band they proceeded 
with drenched banners through the rain-swept streets. They met to ensure the catastrophe of 1914 did 
not occur again. One must remember the menace from the air. It was possible to turn civil aircraft into 
war craft and chemical factories into works for the manufacture of poison gases and lethal rays. 30 07 

1930 08 21 

The air exercises have begun and squadrons of fighting planes took off to engage in bitter combat. 
Until the very last minute of peace 250 aeroplanes were being secretly moved to vulnerable points and 
the men in command have been planning their attacks. Five night bomber squadrons, nine day bomber 
squadrons and 1 1 fighter squadrons will be engaged. Some are fitted with robot controls which can 
relieve the pilot for extended periods on long flights. 30 08 12 

1930 09 27 

The Cambridge Disabled Soldiers Workshop in Gloucester Street has made a trading profit for the 
first time since it opened four years ago. Four of the nine men had returned to their villages for better 
pay after receiving training in repairs to cane and rush work. They made good quality baskets for 
laundry and bottles as well as remaking mattresses. Manufactured goods were sold at local fetes and 
the Exhibition at the Imperial Institute when £300 worth of sales was realised. But the net loss on the 
running of the institution was £141. 30 09 27b 

1931 04 21 

Members of the Territorial Army Nursing Service and nurses of Addenbrooke's Hospital receiving 
instruction in anti -gas drill - photo - 36 04 21 

1931 05 22 

Dr Alex Wood of Emmanuel College is chairman of the Cambridge Peace Council. He was a 
Conscientious Objector exempted from active service during the Great War on condition he carried on 
ambulance work and became commandant of a Red Cross hospital. He joined the Labour Party and in 
1926 was elected to Cambridge Borough Council. At the last general election he contested the 
University seat but was not successful. 3 1 05 22b 

1931 09 

First British Legion rally, Parkers Piece [ 1 .20] 

1931 11 13 

The Poppy Day collection in Cambridge has again smashed all records with undergraduate collectors 
struggling with money still coming in. Nearly two tons of coppers have passed through their hands. 
Early in the day the stock of poppies was exhausted and a fresh supply had to be brought in by train. 
Market Hill was the scene of half-a-dozen well organised ‘rags’ and at Silver Street the Demon Diver 
jumped in flames into the river and the collectors drew in good sums for his ‘widow’ and ‘children’ 

31 1 1 13 I & j 

1932 02 

YMCA ban Russian educational exhibition [1.23] 

1932 02 15 

Of all the memorable gatherings which have been held in the Drill Hall, East Road, none has ever 
come up to the vast assembly which gathered when the Cambridgeshire Regiment Old Comrades’ 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

Association held its first reunion dinner. When they arrived at Southampton 17 years ago one NCO 
said: “It’s taken three trains to get us here, a carriage will be enough to get us back”. That prediction 
came true! A silent toast was drunk to the 900 officers and men who fell in the Great War. 32 02 15 

1932 03 02 

The chatter of Lewis guns and the rattle of rifle fire echoed almost continuously over the countryside 
around the peaceful villages of Bottisham and Quy for almost four hours as members of the Perse, 
Leys and County School Officers’ Training Corps took part in a field day. The first thing inhabitants 
knew of impending hostilities came when several motor buses disgorged their occupants ready for the 
fray. Our reporter was fighting his own battle on his bicycle with the wind in an endeavour to get to 
the battle front before the attack materialised. But the wind won. 32 03 02 & 02a 

1932 02 03 

Cambridge Young Men’s Christian Association cancelled the letting of their hall to an exhibition on 
education in Soviet Russia. Amongst the exhibits were anti-religious posters which upset several 
prominent clergymen who wrote to the News protesting. The organisers are looking for another hall 
so the exhibition can continue. 32 02 03 

1932 07 23 

John Cornford memorial meeting attended by Communists, socialist, labour, liberals and Bevan - 32 
07 23b & c 

1932 08 05 

Nearly 200 troops arrived at Ely for the voluntary camp of the Cambridgeshire Territorials. On 
Tuesday they marched to a field on the Littleport Road where the men engaged in machine gun work 
while trained machine-gunners were taking ranges from the water tower. The men have been 
accommodated in the old Barracks while the officers’ mess has been at the Lamb Hotel where in 
accordance with the old Militia tradition the band has played outside in the evenings. All the catering 
has been done with local tradesmen, which has been much appreciated. 32 08 05a 

1932 10 26 

The Moscow March of young men arrive “dupes of the Communist Party and Moscow agitators” 


1933 02 18 

Moseley to speaks at Union [1.14] 

1933 01 30 

Communist party first meeting - 33 01 30 
1933 01 30 

Hitler becomes German chancellor - 33 01 30a 
1933 03 11 

A band of sixty undergraduates marching through Cambridge carrying placards reading ‘No More 
War’, ‘Scholarships, not Battleships’ and ‘We want peace’. They raised such re-echoing pacifist 
shouts that even horses seemed slightly perturbed while people turned round and stared. It was a 
protest organised by the Students’ Anti-War Council. They marched to Parker’s Piece where some 
fine pieces of oratory were heard, but the crowd was not particularly enthusiastic. 33 03 1 la 

1933 03 21 

Willingham peace ballot - 33 03 21 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

1933 06 16 

Community and Labour opinions were so divided at a conference in Burleigh Street that a proposal to 
form a Cambridge Anti-War Council had to be adjourned after three hours. The University Anti-War 
Council said workers in Cambridge laboratories had been organised against war. Mrs Foster of the 
Women’s Cop-operative Guild wondered who were being prepared as the next enemy of Britain. It 
used to be the French, then the defenceless Boers and last of all the Germans. She appealed to women 
to play their part against the wickedness of war before the catastrophe arrived. 33 06 16 & b 

1933 07 12 

Dr R.M. Salaman addressed Cambridge Rotary club on the persecution of the Jews in Germany. 

Hitler was destroying the whole people: it was more serious than the mere ‘beating up’ of individuals 
who happened to be Jewish, it was a movement which struck at the very roots of civilisation. Paid 
advocates of the Nazis had been sent to Palestine and the Ukraine and the doctrine was being taught in 
schools in the most scandalous way. 33 07 12 p8 

1933 07 17 

This area will be scene of aerial activity during night exercises by the RAF. Operations will begin 
between a raiding force of 108 bombers and 152 fighters, some based at Duxford, who will endeavour 
to intercept and destroy them. They should be off the ground in two minutes, reach an altitude of 
1,600 feet in about ten minutes and travel 30 miles. Cambridge itself is off the map as far as actual 
fighting is concerned as it is supposed to be covered by mountains. 33 07 17 

1933 07 26 

A meeting of the Cambridge Anti-War Council debated whether to affiliate to the national body. 

There was a danger that war might appear soon and the workers would be caught as they were in 1914 
unless some centralised organisation was set up. But the British Anti-War Movement had been started 
by Communists with the idea of boring from the inside and they should not join. 33 07 26 

1933 08 09 

A state of armed neutrality exists on the title ‘battlefield’ of Woodlands Farm, Ringshall near 
Stowmarket. Fascists are camped in the farmyard while a bailiff is in possession of two cornfields on 
the farm. The owner owes £47 to King’s College for tithe and fields of wheat and barley have been 
seized for which tenders have been invited. Police are on constant duty while the fascists watch the 
approaching roads for signs of approaching cutting machinery. They have chalked messages on the 
road which read ‘Farmers, Unite Now’ 33 08 09 

1933 10 14 

Hitlerism debate at London cancelled, Michael Foot. President of the Oxford Union, was to have 
disapproved, .T.G.W. Blackwell, Cambridge Union, another speaker [1.12] 

1933 10 18 

An exhibition of Russian posters organised by the Cambridge branch of the Friends of the Soviet 
Union was opened at the Labour Hall. Maurice Dobb explained that very simple and forceful ideas 
were combined with a striking use of colour to appeal to the worker and ‘activate’ him or try to 
convince the peasants to join community farms run on a co-operative basis. The posters gave some 
idea of the life of the workers, contrasting the old conditions with the new. 33 10 18 

1933 11 02 

Photographs taken during a holiday in Russia are displayed at Ramsey and Muspratt studio in Post 
Office Terrace. Two studies, ‘Dneiprastron: the new town’ and ‘Moscow: the Kremlin’ show there is 
beauty in the new and old. The human side is captured in a fine study of the ‘Intourist’ bus driver and 
a Young Pioneers’ demonstration while ‘The Infants School’ shows the Russian child. ‘Prison 
Settlement’, is a photo of another aspect of Russian life 33 1 1 02 

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1933 11 03 

Socialist Society & Student Christian Movement organise demonstration & march from Parkers Piece 
to war memorial; counter demonstration of flour & white- features ... desecrating a holy day call for - 
abolition of bombing from air [1.6] 

1933 11 06 

Bonfire night demonstration & Hitler Nazi meeting - 33 1 1 06 
1933 11 09 

An inaugural meeting of the New Britain Movement was held in the Dorothy Cafe with Mr A Mackay 
in the chair. There should be a federation of European states: every day the world became more 
international and a policy of isolation would be disastrous. Communism and Fascism were threatening 
the world and England must show the rest the way out of the mess, speakers said. The power to issue 
money should be taken away from the financiers, only then would people receive enough to live on. 

33 1 1 09 

1933 11 10 

The film ‘Our Fighting Navy’ has been withdrawn from the Tivoli Cinema following lively scenes. 
Fifty members of the Students’ Anti-War went to make a protest but a rival party, numbering about a 
thousand undergraduates, marched to the cinema with two bands playing war-time songs and carrying 
Union Jacks. Several tried to push their way in until the arrival of four policemen who, with drawn 
truncheons, managed to keep the crowd at bay whilst a dozen more raced to the scene in motor 
vehicles. Cries of ‘Down with Hitler’ and ‘Hail Hitler’ were heard above the general uproar and a 
stink bomb let off in the vestibule 33 1 1 10, 33 1 1 1 1 [1.7, 1.13] 

1933 11 14 

Memories and reminders of the horror of war are provided by the Cambridge Anti-War Council’s 
exhibition opened. It consists of diagrams, photographs and cartoons and if anybody wants war after 
seeing them, they can have no feeling. Some of the photos of the dead were forbidden by the Censors 
and it is easy to see why. Part has been prepared by members of the Bio-chemical Board, Cavendish 
Laboratories and shows the effects of gas 33 1 1 14 

1933 11 18 

Anti-war meetings and views - 33 11 18 

1934 02 17 

Eighteen ‘Blackshirts’ were arrested on farms at Wortham, Suffolk by 50 police who arrived in large 
double-decker motor buses. The ‘Blackshirts’ were outside the farm gates and were arrested 
peacefully without any resistance. They have been at the farm for several days ‘guarding’ cattle and 
sheep which were impounded for tithe and a crowd of spectators cheered them as they left. Other 
Fascists were instructed to withdraw from a farm at Diss where their steel-protected cars have been 
keeping a watch-out for a van expected to remove animals 34 02 17 34 02 20 34 02 21 trial - 34 02 

1934 02 19 

Cambridge showed little interest in the 100 hunger marchers who arrived from Huntingdon. They 
halted at Girton College where jugs of tea and buns were given. About 200 people including members 
of the University Socialist Society and Anti War Movement escorted them into town. Darkness was 
falling as a rally was held on Parker’s Piece where a small crowd gathered before they made their way 
to the Corn Exchange where they spent the night. But police were accused of provocation when they 
forcibly expelled them on Monday morning. Guy Burgess amongst group undergraduates who march 
with them through town, undergraduates provide food. Cultured newspapers ignore them, gutter Press 
calls them ‘mob of Red dupes whose leaders are paid weekly in Moscow gold’ Marxist library & 
bookstall established at Girton College 34 02 19 34 02 26 

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1934 03 29 

“War is madness and we are being driven to it by madmen” a peace meeting at Soham was told. Some 
scientists were now saying there was no serious danger from gas warfare and people would be safe if 
they went and sat quietly in the bath. But soldiers who had been trained to combat mustard gas had 
become casualties without knowing they were affected until it was too late. They were being driven 
into this madness by men who were so stupid that they were virtually insane and they needed 
missionaries against war to defeat them. To believe anything these days involved a belief in miracles. 
34 03 29 

1934 04 12 

Herr Gerhart Seger, who recently escaped from a German concentration camp told of his experiences. 
Under Hitler’s ‘Protection Arrest’ men could be taken to prison with no reason. The Storm-Troopers, 
sadistic and brutalised men, could do what they would with inmates. Prisoners were beaten 
mercilessly, slept crowded together in damp ice-cold cellars and listened to men being tortured by the 
Nazis. Of 42 men imprisoned with him, two were beaten to death within a fortnight. After he’d come 
to England his wife and baby had been taken to a concentration camp as hostages, not to be released 
until he returned. 34 04 12 

1934 04 27 
Anti-war ballot [1.3] 

1934 05 26 

Sir - we scientific workers and teachers of the University wish to affirm out fundamental opposition 
to the use of scientific research in war and the preparation of war. A situation may soon arise when 
scientists will be pressured to engage in research directed to the purpose of war Signed: Joseph 
Needham (Biochemist), E.O. Whetham (Agriculture), Marjory Stephenson (Biochemistry), M.L. 
Oliphant , C.P. Snow, B.M. Crowther and Alex Wood (Physics) and others 34 05 26 

1934 11 10 

Poppy Day collectors had to contend with a dismal downpour of rain. But a large crowd gathered on 
Senate House Hill to await the arrival of a self-styled ‘Hitler’ who was due to open the Caius Fun 
Fair. When he did come, by car, he brought a procession of about a dozen cars in his wake, all 
containing weird and wonderful characters. The obstinate mule, which last year lay down in the road 
and refused to get up until tempted by a coin, was less obstinate on the present occasion, for the wet 
and muddy road was hardly a pleasant bed. 34 1 1 10 & a 

1934 11 12 

Several hundred people joined in a peace meeting on Parker’s Piece organised by the Cambridge 
Anti-War Council and the University Anti-War Movement before marching in a torchlight procession 
to the War Memorial. The procession, some 300 strong began their march along Mill Road, increasing 
in size as it went along. But they missed the turning into Tenison Road and crossed Mill Road Bridge 
before winding its way round the back streets to the War Memorial. They laid a wreath ‘To those of 
all countries who fell in the last war from those who are pledged to prevent another’ 34 1 1 12c 

1934 11 12 

Wesley Church memorial Cambridge Brotherhood WWI 34 1 1 12d 
1934 11 17 

Sensational revelations concerning Germany’s war plans were made at a meeting in Cambridge 
Guildhall. Speaking to the University League of Nations Union, Mr Wickham Steed, a former editor 
of The Times, said they had imported enough arsenic ore to make poison gas sufficient to swamp 
Europe twice over. The next war is likely to come without warning and many be commenced by an 
overwhelming night attack. General Goering, at the Nazi Air Ministry has built 85 underground 
aerodromes this year and had at least 2,000 aeroplanes, he claimed. 34 1 1 17 & a 

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1934 11 23 

Anti-war exhibition [1.4] 

1934 12 04 

Lord Rutherford presided at the first meeting of Cambridge University Democratic Movement. There 
is a great fear of the power of military aeroplanes making a sudden and devastating attack on 
defenceless cities involving the destruction of combatant and civilian alike. Air warfare of any kind 
should be abolished, he urged. Vyvian Adams praised his work at the Cavendish Laboratory. None 
could hope to isolate himself from the surrounding dangers. The question was did we want human 
development or human destruction by scientific means. 34 12 04 

1935 02 02 

Lord Eltisley spoke of the record of the National Government. If the Socialists had remained in office 
we should have been in a state of chaos. We required a stable, strong and safe Government and in 
Stanley Baldwin had a leader in the best tradition of British statesmanship. Signs were not lacking that 
storms were blowing up and we might again be approaching a crucial period. In Germany young 
people were bring brought up in a creed of glorification of arms. Now they had order 12 new 
submarines. Our best defence was to be prepared against sudden attack 35 02 02 & 

1935 02 21 

Hugh Dalton on fascism - 35 02 21 
1935 02 25 

An open-air demonstration under the red flag against the new Unemployment Bill was held on 
Parker’s Piece supported by the University Socialist Society and Labour Clubs. A crowd of nearly 
100 assembled. There are two-and-a-half million registered unemployed but there had been an 
increase in production without an increase in wages. The worker had become the slave of the 
machine, not the machine the tool of the worker. Mr H.C. Bibby spoke on camps for the unemployed: 
many who took part had the best of motives but they could develop into terrible concentration camps. 
35 02 25 

1935 03 01 

Peace ballot - “county is peace-minded” [1.1] 

1935 03 07 

The Cambridge Scientists’ Anti-War Group heard an address on aspects of the Nazi movement. Many 
of the true facts were to be found in reports circulated secretly by the Ruhr industrialists who were 
providing the Nazis with immense financial support. German science was being devoted almost 
exclusively to war preparations. At the end the Group protested against increased expenditure on 
armaments by the British Government and urged the money to be spent on the social services instead. 
Peace cannot be maintained by building greater armed forces. 35 03 07d 

1935 03 07 

Police guarded the closed gates of the University Arms Hotel while Sir Oswald Mosley was at a 
dinner organised by the University Fascist Society. Outside a meeting organised by the University 
Socialist Society was held on Parker’s Piece with speeches by John Comford, Maurice Comford and 
Maurice Dobb. Then a torchlight procession by 200 undergraduates shouting anti-Fascist slogans such 
as ‘We want Mosley dead or alive’ and singing ‘The Internationale’ marched to Peas Hill where more 
speeches were made before a Proctor arrived and they dispersed. 35 03 07c. Mosley previous visits - 
35 02 23a 

1935 04 04 

There is no doubt the Peace Ballot has made Cambridge people face the vital questions. Results show 
nearly all wanted Britain to remain a member of the Feague of Nations and an all-round reduction of 
armaments by international agreement. The manufacture and sale of armaments for private profit 

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should also be prohibited. If a nation insisted on attacking another the others should compel it to stop 
by economic measures or, if necessary, by force under the auspices of the League and preferably by 
an International Police Force. 35 04 04 [1.1] 

1935 04 08 

Residents need not be alarmed by the appearance of heavy bomber aeroplanes during the next few 
nights. A tactical exercise will involve bombers flying a series of ‘co-ordinated attacks’ on selected 
military targets to introduce new crews to the role of the night bomber. It will provide actual practice 
in extended navigation and the technique of bombing by night, the co-ordination of raids and the 
employment of the signals organisation. But there will be no ‘bombing’ in this neighbourhood and no 
explosive bombs will be dropped anywhere. It is essential these exercises should be carried out during 
the hours of darkness and the Air Ministry is to restrict night flying to the minimum possible. 35 04 

1935 04 23 

Sir - this country has not produced a mask to safeguard us against an attack of modern gas. For two 
years I have worked in the anti -war movement I founded in a room in Cambridge to protest against 
war-like manoeuvres and to organise against war. It is the workers who are called upon to fight, to 
make munitions and pay for it afterwards and trade unionists should take the lead in opposing it. - 
W.G. Doel, Hope Street, Cambridge - 35 04 23 

1935 04 29 

Anti-Nazi play at Festival Theatre - photo - 35 04 29a 
1935 05 28 

Dr Wooster of the Scientists’ Anti-War Committee said the proposed air-raid drills would be 
compulsory, getting civilians under war discipline and squashing anti-war activities. It was impossible 
to protect the population at large against air attack: we might conceivably protect the inhabitants of 
Haverhill by building shelters but not the whole of London. The Government would not supply gas 
masks, you must buy them for yourselves; they would cost about £20 and it was obvious that poor 
people could not afford it, he told a meeting in the Labour Hall, Norfolk Street. 35 05 28 

1935 10 18 

Controversy surrounded the offer of £10,000 from Sir John Davenport Siddeley for developing 
aeronautical research in the University. Some dons felt it would subsidise research of a military 
character of pecuniary value to armament manufacturers. But others say the ultimate influence of the 
aeroplane upon civilisation will be pacific rather than warlike. It was abhorrent that the University 
should become a centre of specifically military research but this money would be used for work of a 
fundamental and non-military character 35 10 18b 

1935 11 05 

A ‘Fascism and War’ exhibition organised by the Cambridge Anti-War Council discloses methods by 
which the illegal opposition movements in Germany and Italy distribute their literature disguised as 
items of a non-political nature. There is also propaganda printed on paper of tissue thinness and a 
method of photographing illegal printed matter and transposing it on paper which instantly goes black 
on exposure to light if opened by the police. The recipient knows to treat the paper chemically to 
counteract the effect. Also on display is also one of the Anti-Nazi leaflets spilled from the roof garden 
of a Berlin restaurant on to the streets below and a collection of abusive correspondence, including 
one from Ezra Pound, sent from Italy to a Fellow of King’s College after he contributed certain views 
in an English paper 35 1 1 05 & a 

1935 11 15 

Peace-Week torchlight procession [1.2] 

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1935 11 26 

Cambridge Disabled Soldiers’ Workshop had been through a difficult period. They had to change 
their address three times which involved considerable expense. The largest number of men in the 
workshop was 12 and at present there were only seven, none of which were complete in their bodies. 
One had lost his leg in the South African War. The shop in Trumpington Street was not in so good a 
situation as at Peas Hill and they did not get the streams of passing undergraduates. We should never 
forget the men who had served, suffered and saved our country through its years of dire peril. 35 1 1 

1935 12 12 

Dr William Wooster told the court he was a member of the Scientists’ Anti-War Group and had been 
standing outside Duxford Aerodrome selling pamphlets entitled ‘Air Display Special’. It carried a 
headnote to say it was not to be sold to members of H.M. Forces but they were seized by police under 
the Incitement to Disaffection Act. Surely people could be reminded of the sheer horrors of the Great 
War 35 12 12 & a 

1935 12 20 

The judge agreed that police had been wrong to seize copies of a pamphlet from a member of the 
Cambridge Scientist’s Anti-War Group at Duxford aerodrome during the Royal Review. They’d been 
worried following an earlier incident at Mildenhall when a misguided female threw a paper at the 
King’s car. ‘The Anti-War Special’ was crude, inartistic and in some respects childish. It had been 
sold by Dr Wooster supported by a bevy of satellites, mainly ladies, wearing badges of a reddish hue. 
Various ex-servicemen had expressed themselves in vituperative terms and its distribution might have 
led to a breach of the peace 35 12 20 & a 

1936 03 07 

Ugly scenes were witnessed at a demonstration organised by the University Socialist Club and Anti- 
War Council at the Guildhall which was addressed by Aneurin Bevan. There was vocal opposition 
from the gallery with fighting and at one juncture all the doors were opened wide because of a strong 
offensive smell. Earlier 500 undergraduates took part in a torchlight procession headed by the red 
banner of the University Anti-War Movement shouting “We want peace” and “Stanley Baldwin must 
be sacked” 36 03 07 & a 

1936 03 12 

“Is any treaty made with Germany more than a piece of paper” asked Sir Austen Chamberlain when 
he reviewed Germany’s action over the demilitarised zone in a speech he made at the annual dinner of 
the Cambridge University Conservative Association. The Association was flourishing and its numbers 
and activities greater than ever. There were a disproportionate number of Oxford men in the House of 
Commons but the Cambridge men made up in quality what they lacked in numbers. However there 
was a slackness in the Conservative Party which had no counterpart among the Socialists. 36 03 12, a 

1936 04 27 

Territorial soldiers with machine guns at anti-aircraft exercises on Coldham’s common - 36 04 27d 
1936 05 04 

“I am not at all sure that if I had been a German I should not have voted freely and enthusiastically for 
Hitler at the last election”, Dr Alex Wood told a May Day demonstration on Parker’s Piece. Germany 
as she was today was the creation of the Allied Governments and their policy of repress and unilateral 
disarmament, he continued before condemning the Government’s re-armament police. It would lead 
inevitably to war. Only on the foundations of International Socialism and co-operation can secure 
peace be built. 36 05 04b 

1936 05 15 

Cambridgeshire Regiment, Major Digby takes command, is University correspondent of CDN 
specialising in sport and drama - 36 05 15c & d 

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1936 07 29 

The Fellowship of Reconciliation, a peace movement born in Cambridge during the dark days of 1914 
was founded by people united in the conviction that the way of war could not be the way of Christ for 
righting wrongs and had now spread to many countries. Some 250 people from Germany, France, 
Italy, Bulgaria and Belgium together with the USA, Japan and the Argentine are attending a 
conference at Selwyn College on ‘Christ: the Peace of the World”. 36 07 29b 

1936 08 28 

Cambridge meeting on Spain & Fascists - 36 08 28 
1936 10 12 

Over £120 was collected for the Spanish Medical Aid Committee at a meeting in the Guildhall. If they 
went to Spain today they would find village after village barricaded. Many people were being killed 
because they have nothing but their bare bodies to put against the latest legal death which modern 
science has given to the rebels, the Fascist International, to destroy decency in life in Spain today, Mr 
J. Langdon-Davies claimed. 36 10 12 

1936 10 13 

Precautions to be taken in preparation for air raids were outlined to a meeting of architects, officials, 
school managers and owners of shops at Cambridge Guildhall. They hoped the dangers would never 
come to pass but must provide for contingencies. The three main weapons would be the incendiary, 
gas and high-explosive bombs. The first was the greatest danger. It would burn for seven minutes and 
could not be put out by water or any known chemical. Food exposed to gas vapour should be thrown 
away. Respirators would be issued to everyone except tiny children 36 10 13 

1936 10 21 

A.J. Winship told Rotarians he had visited Germany. The Germans had no more idea of attacking this 
country than the man in the moon. The attitude to Hitler seemed uniform all over the country. They 
worshipped him. He was the first real ruler who was absolutely unselfish and sought nothing for 
himself. He had taken power but was not a dictator. He held a position almost the same as the King 
did here. But Rotarian Franklin disagreed: Hitler was a dictator who had assumed power by force and 
murder and the treatment being given to the Jews was diabolical. 36 10 21 

1936 11 02 

Undergraduates demonstrated support for 130 hunger marchers from Durham on their way to London 
to protest against the Means Test and new scales of benefit. At Girton College girl students served 
them tea and buns before 250 undergraduates joined the procession carrying torches and banners. 
There were meetings in the Co-operative and Labour Halls before the protestors had an evening meal 
in the students’ rooms. At Cheshunt College some of the marchers ate in hall. Having slept in the 
Corn Exchange they continued to Saffron Walden where the Labour Party entertained them with 
lively tunes from a loudspeaker van. The march is due to arrive in London next weekend. 36 1 1 02 & 
a 1936 10 31 

1936 11 06 

CU branch Fascists dinner, heavy police guard, November [1.4] 

1936 11 07 

Cambridge Peace Week, 14 organisations unite [1.15] 

1936 11 27 

The Territorial Army recruiting campaign at the Drill Hall attracted a large number of people 
including employers of labour, members of the University O.T.C. and boys from the Perse and 
County schools. The progress of aircraft means that the channel is now a mere ditch over which 
planes can fly in a few minutes and a defence force must be efficient. This should be voluntary and 

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employers must make some sacrifices and encourage their men to join the Territorial Army, giving 
them leave and pay when on service. 36 1 1 27 

1936 12 03 

Air raid precautions were discussed by South Cambs RDC. The roads and bridges about to be built in 
the county should have bomb-proof surfaces. Substantial material was to be used and it would not be 
at all impossible to make them bombproof. Most of the roads were to be constructed above the present 
ground level and could have shelters under them 36 12 03a 

1937 01 11 

At the first open meeting of the Cambridge Left Book Club tribute was paid to the memory of Mr 
G.C. Maclaurin, who was killed recently fighting for the Spanish Government in Madrid. He, more 
than anybody, was responsible for the flourishing members of the club in Cambridge where some 400 
of the total membership of 35,000 are resident. The speaker discussed ‘Must Capitalism Fail?’ In a 
Socialist society, such as the USSR, all the sources of production were utilised to the full. While 
Russian workers were enjoying the fruits of their labour, the capitalist workers were saddled with 
debt. 37 01 11 

1937 02 03 

The death of John Cornford while fighting for the Spanish Government is a grievous loss. He had a 
brilliant academic career and was preparing for research work in history when the Spanish rebellion 
broke out. As soon as it was known that Italian war planes were being delivered to the Spanish rebels 
he went out as a volunteer, joining the British section of the International Brigade and fighting 
alongside G.C. Maclaurin of Cambridge who was killed in Madrid. He saw continual fighting for five 
weeks and was commander of the British section on the Cordova front when he was killed 
reconnoitring in advance of the lines. 37 02 03 

1937 02 13 

Cambridge Scientists’ Anti-War Group, a technical and advisory body to Peace Movements, has 
issued a booklet entitled ‘The Protection of the Public from Aerial Attack. It is a critical examination 
of the recommendations put forward by the Home Office Air Raids Precautions Department. They 
constructed ‘gas proof rooms according to Government plans and measured its resistance to the entry 
of air from outside. Much of the information is technical with a separate chapter devoted to the 
protection of children 37 02 13a [1.21] 

1937 03 23 

Cambridge Scientists have challenged Government claims that the majority of London houses could 
construct a gas-proof room. They say it would need to be lined with sheet tin and the joints 
overlapped with Vaseline. Even so tear gas could get in. Mustard gas could be spread in liquid form 
from aeroplanes as had been done in Abyssinia. It gave off a vapour so toxic it was lethal if breathed 
for six minutes. Government-issue gas masks would cost two-and-sixpence each but would not stop 
cigarette smoke that could make people cough and be sick. 37 03 23a & b 

1937 04 17 

Red Cross members will be trained in air raid precautions and encouraged to volunteer for ARP 
services. They could be assured that people wearing masks would be unaffected by gas, despite a 
recent study by Cambridge Scientists. Diffusion of elementary knowledge would prevent many 
casualties caused by panic. They had held six ‘gas courses’ attracting 350 people. But these numbers 
would be hopelessly inadequate to deal with a large-scale air raid. 37 04 17 

1937 04 27 

Basque town wiped out, hundreds killed - 37 04 27 

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1937 04 28 

Cambridge Union Society emulated the Oxford refusal to fight for king and country by carrying a 
motion in favour of complete national disarmament and individual refusal to bear arms. If re- 
armament were abandoned in the pursuit of peace our economic system would collapse and we would 
be faced with a military revolution of the property classes on the lines of General Franco. It might 
involve us in civil war - unless passive resistance was practiced as it had been by Gandhi, opponents 
warned. ‘Refuse to fight for any other nation in any war ... shall always be prepared to die if need be 
for King & Country but for nobody and nothing else’ but soon concerned that neighbours fowls being 
eaten that ours are safe 37 04 28 & a 

1937 05 03 

Labour Party’s May Day demonstration on Parker’s Piece, 500 marches - 37 05 03a & b 
1937 05 20 

Sir - What we have come to know as the Cambridge War Memorial was part of a three-fold memorial 
scheme which embraced a substantial grant to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for extension work, a complete 
record in Ely Cathedral of the names of local men killed in the war or who died from wounds and the 
monument at the junction of Station Road. This was to commemorate all Cambridgeshire infantry and 
should be ‘To Victory’. It was not to be a memorial to the dead but to the living. It is for this reason 
that we who pass the memorial do not lift our hats as we do at the Cenotaph in London - E.W.R. 37 
05 20 

1937 05 29 

Within the next few weeks about thirty Basque children brought to England following the terrible air 
raids at Bilbao and Gurnica will be arriving in Cambridge. They will be taken to Pampisford Vicarage 
where the children will remain for at least six months being looked after by volunteers from the 
University. As they are destitute provisions must be made for their welfare and beds, boots and 
clothes are required. 37 05 29 

1937 05 31 

About 2,000 people gathered on Grange Road Rifle Range to see a display of first aid by the British 
Red Cross Society under air raid conditions. Three bombers from Duxford took part in the raid, 
exactly as though on active service. As they dived at speeds of 240 mph there were realistic bangs and 
clouds of smoke. People in the area rushed about screaming and collapsed wounded or from the 
effects of the gas. When the raid was over the rescue parties, clad in gas masks and decontamination 
suits commenced work. A musketry party fired on the ‘planes during the raid 37 05 3 1 

1937 06 09 

A meeting at Cambridge Guildhall to raise funds for the Basque children’s hostel at Pampisford 
brought several promises of ‘adopting’ children by guaranteeing fifteen shillings a week. There will 
be 29 young refugees at Pampisford Vicarage and volunteers were needed to do cleaning, carpentry 
and plumbing. Leah Manning described the terrible tragedy of Guernica and the conditions in Bilbao 
where everyone from the President to the poorest refugee had only black bread, coarse cabbage and a 
little rice to eat. 37 06 09a & b 37 06 12a 

1937 06 23 

Sir - The 29 Basque refugee children are now settled in the Vicarage at Pampisford after their ordeal 
in Spain. There have been heavy initial expenses in creating a home in an unfurnished house not 
designed for the purpose and insufficiently provided with sanitation. Several firms have supplied 
goods free or at cost prices and individuals have given their labour in repairing, paintings and cleaning 
the Vicarage. We hope to employ a cook-housekeeper and charwoman as well as a part-time gardener 
to grow vegetables for the winter - F.M. Cornford. 37 06 23 

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1937 06 30 

The Nazi salute was given as German ex-prisoners of war honoured Cambridge’s war dead. Members 
of the Reichsvereiningung Ehem from Kriegsgefangener marched to the memorial where the ranks of 
local British Legion standard bearers were joined by the German standard-bearer, carrying the Nazi 
flag. While standards were dipped, one of the visitors placed a laurel wreath on the memorial as 
members of the German party gave the Nazi salute. They then left for a civic reception at the 
Guildhall. 37 06 30 & a & b 

1937 07 16 

An 18-feet long scale model of H.M.S. Repulse was exhibited on Cambridge Market Square to 
stimulate recruiting and advertise Navy Week. It is fitted with electric search-lights and Morse lamps 
and illuminated by powerful lamps from the Vauxhall lorry that tows it. Extensive alterations have 
been made to the upper deck of the ship since the model was first made and these have been effected 
on the model which was originally constructed at Portsmouth docks for instructional purposes. 37 07 

1937 07 23 

John Cornford memorial meeting attended by Communists, socialist, labour, liberals and Bevan - 32 
07 23b & c 

1937 08 09 

An air “attack” is being made on London by 176 light and medium heavy bombers. All through the 
night they will concentrate their efforts to ‘destroy’ the capital and opposed to them will be 19 fighter 
squadrons with a total strength of 222 machines. The ‘attack’ will continue two more nights unless 
affected by bad weather. The main object of the exercise is to provide tactical training for the RAF in 
conjunction with the Anti-Aircraft Division of the Territorial Army and Observer Corps. ‘Casualties’ 
will not be assessed 37 08 09 

1937 08 20 

Sir - London newspapers, suffering from a scarcity of news, have reported unruly behaviour by 18 of 
the 3,826 Basque refugees in England. Picture 4,000 children from English towns, their nerves 
wrecked by months of war and air raids, many of them having lost their parents, transported to a 
strange climate, strange customs and an unknown tongue. Would they all be angels? The refugees at 
Pampisford have been happy and untroubled. But now we have been asked to take another 30. The 
great difficulty is to find an empty house large enough. Can readers help? - F.L. Lucas. King’s 
College 37 08 20a 

1937 08 24 

Tanks prepare for manoeuvre, Linton - photo - 37 08 24 
1937 08 25 

An attempt by an insurgent force to cut the railway at Bartlow Station saw rifle battalions attack on a 
wide front. A small British machine gun battalion took up a position on the west bank of the River 
Stour while soldiers demolished bridges to prevent the attackers occupying the high ground at Shudy 
Camps and Horseheath. Villagers had a fine time watching the ponderous tanks pass by and 
comparing them with the guns and beautiful horses of the 1912 manoeuvres. It was part of the 
military exercise simulating that in Egypt before the latest Anglo-Egyptian treaty. 37 08 25 

1937 08 27 

Tanks featured in the opening attack on Haverhill under cover of a smoke screen. An assault via the 
Bumpsteads was held up and the advance swung westwards past Shudy Camps towards the Bartlow 
railway. Late in the afternoon an enveloping movement was successful. Street fighting and sniping 
was expected and the infantry was served out with an extra supply of hand grenades. The inhabitants 
thronged the centre of Haverhill eager to see the activity of the military manoeuvres 37 08 27a 

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1937 08 31 

The premise behind the military manoeuvres was that production of a new lethal gas was about to 
start in two underground factories at Yole and Barsey Farm near Balsham and Shudy Camps. 

Different essentials of the gas were to be made at each factory so destruction of either would prevent 
production. There was a large influx of visitors to the church parade at Shudy Camps Park where 400 
men from various regiments had assembled for the training exercise. Afterwards a band concert was 
greatly enjoyed. 37 08 31 

1937 09 04 

The Army manoeuvres now taking place locally should have a beneficial effect on recruiting. The 
introduction of the motor into all branches of the service has rendered the soldier’s task much less 
toilsome and robbed the march of its old-time discomforts. The present-day Tommy is better provided 
for and looked after, better fed and more comfortably clothed. Recruits for the three battalions of the 
5th Infantry Brigade now in camp at Shudy Camps Park are coming in steadily. It is expected that a 
further 100 will soon be ready at Aldershot and will probably also be sent there 37 09 04b 

1937 09 07 

Basque children at Pampisford rectory visited by Dr L. Cobbett - 37 09 07 
1937 09 16 

War will be declared at midnight on Saturday - at any rate for the purpose of manoeuvres - and Ely 
will be in the war zone. 450 men from Liverpool, Manchester and London arrived in the city and went 
into camp at Barton Fields, arousing the curiosity of residents who have visited in large numbers and 
showed considerable interest in the military activities. It is the largest exercise of its kind since 1918 
but the only troops are members of the Royal Signals Supplementary Reserve; most are Post Office 
employees who give up their spare time so they could assist the Regular Army in the event of conflict 
37 09 16 

1937 10 03 

The 1st Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment lined up on Parker’s Piece for their first inspection 
since they were reformed after the war. Behind them hundreds of Old Comrades also paraded. It is a 
Volunteer Army undertaking onerous duties and alone stands between us and conscription. With no 
prospect of war for some years the Government has taken very little interest in either the Regular or 
Territorial Army but times have changed as a result of the combined efforts of Hitler, Mussolini and 
now the Japs, they were told. Men, women and children are regarded as suitable subjects for attack by 
shell and bomb and we must defend ourselves, they were told. 37 10 03b & c 

1937 10 12 

Basque arts and crafts - photo - 37 10 12 
1937 10 13 

Sir - since the beginning of the Spanish Civil War four Cambridge men have laid down their lives 
fighting against the Fascist Insurgents. They are John Comford (Trinity), G.C. Maclaurin (St John’s), 
G. Lorimer Birch (Caius) and Julian Bell (King’s). The first three were in the International Column, 
the fourth as an ambulance driver. Now a branch of the Voluntary Industrial Aid Organisation has 
been established to recondition motor vehicles as ambulances for Spain. Side-car ambulances are 
needed that can go up the hills through narrow passes; at present wounded have to be transported by 
mules. Donations should be sent to me - Joseph Needham, Caius College 37 10 13 

1937 10 18 

Cambridge University Officers Training Corps gave a demonstration at the Grange Road rifle range. 

It opened with a display by the Vickers machine gun section followed by mortars laying a smoke 
screen. Cavalry were in action reconnoitring and dummy -thrusting with swords while communication 
by wireless and cable was also shown. A spectacular display of demolishing a bridge was followed by 

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a battery action by two 18-pounder field guns. Visitors could inspect the equipment and try out an 
army gas mask in the gas chamber. 37 10 18 

1937 10 19 

Major-General Ernst Udet, ace pilot during the war, was amongst top German airmen who inspected 
two squadrons of giant Heyford bombers and the latest Battle Bristol-Blenheims, Harrow, Wellesey 
and Whitley aircraft at R.A.F. Mildenhall. They went into the body of the Harrow plane and three sat 
in the cockpit of one of the others before watching the engines starting. The visitors, some carrying 
small dress daggers, also toured the station buildings including the mobile wireless transmitting, 
photographic and automatic control sections. 37 10 19 & a 

1937 10 19 

The Mayor opened a model anti-gas room at Boot’s shop in Petty Cury. With the disturbed state of 
international politics the company was anxious to help people to retain a sense of proportion 
concerning air raids. Any room could be made gasproof at a trifling cost. It had been tested under the 
most severe conditions with war gas. The Home Office Air Raids Precautions Department welcomed 
the initiative. If people took the simple precautions suggested they would be able to deal with the 
emergency quite successfully. 37 10 19b 

1937 10 23 

Great deal of war talk - Cartoon - 37 10 23c 
1937 10 23 

A new novel deals with the Cambridge of the future. “Thirty Million Gas Masks” by Sarah Campion 
imagines ‘Something like ten thousand Cantabrigians were wiped out (as every schoolboy knows) in 
the Air Raid of 1939. There are memorials to the Cambridge dead all over the rest of Great Britain. 
The enemy cared not two buttons about Cambridge but were aiming at London’. In the book a 
technical mishap on one of the bombing planes releases a new gas which results in the area being 
evacuated only to be visited by people in gas masks sent by the Government to test the poison-laden 
country. 37 10 23 c d e 

1937 11 11 

Cambridge Labour Party women’s section heard that the Government was preparing for war and was 
not going to spend money on decent houses for its citizens to live in. Gas masks for ‘essential’ people 
were available at £1 and ten-and-six each, but for the masses at two shillings and nine pence. They 
should press for equality for rich and poor alike; gas masks should be efficient and not merely ‘eye- 
wash’ to prevent a panic. To capitalist interest war meant vast profits and hard cash. 37 11 lid 

1937 11 15 

Cambridge Peace Week ends with march from Parkers Piece to War Memorial - 37 11 15a & b 

1938 01 11 

Mr W. King showed three of his films. One showing the inspection of the Cambridgeshire Regiment 
by General Kirke caught the spectacle admirably: the marching of the Territorials was transferred to 
the screen in colour and many town and county notabilities were seen.. 38 01 11a 

1938 01 20 

The hostel for Basque children have had to leave Pampisford and experienced great difficulty in 
finding a suitable house large enough to take all the children. Now they have moved to Salisbury 
Villas, Station Road 30 01 20c 

1938 01 20 

Anti -Japanese demonstration - photo - 38 01 20 

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1938 01 28 

Lieut-Col C.R. Bennett retired after 20 years with the Territorial Army. After service in the First 
World War he was given command of the 250th Field Company and established its headquarters in 
Cambridge in 1934. This was the first year of partial mechanisation leading to the loss of all horses 
and the extra work they made. Parades were less spectacular but were less dangerous to unwary 
recruits and allowed more training of a strictly engineering nature. His popularity with the troops even 
survived the task of judging the inter-company tug-of-war which looms very large in importance to 
the units 38 01 28 

1938 03 10 

Red Cross to plan demonstration of Air Raids Precautions work; in event of war a war hospital was to 
be established near Cambridge - 38 03 10 

1938 03 19 

Cambridge Spanish refugee relief organisation had transformed Pampisford Vicarage, which had been 
practically derelict. Twenty-nine Basque children had arrived on 19th June 1937, the youngest aged 
seven, all fresh from their tragic experiences. The Hostel had moved in January to No. 1 Salisbury 
Villas. The children had all lost one parent and to send them back would be cruelty; they did not know 
where some of their guardians were and one lad would face the firing squad if he returned. But if 
donations were not forthcoming, they would soon run out of funds. 38 03 19e 

1938 04 02 

Parliament has decided that local authorities must prepare schemes for safeguarding the population 
against attack from the air. This does not mean war is imminent, but the risk cannot be ignored. Large 
numbers of volunteers are needed; men as air raid wardens, demolition workers, auxiliary firemen and 
messengers, women for first-aid, gas contamination and ambulance duties. The Mayor (Coun. Peck) 
appealed for people to come forward and say what they can do 38 04 02 

1938 04 08 

Miss D.I. Macdonald, who lives in Sherlock Road, has recently returned from Spain where she was 
caught in air raids. “There is nothing you can do except sit still and 1 was frightened because 1 felt 
completely trapped”. The universities were picked out specifically as targets by the attackers who 
feared the people in them. Government suggestions that covered-in trenches should be constructed in 
the gardens of houses here are very sensible; the great thing is to have covered protection against 
splinters and machine gun bullets. In Spain they were not unsightly as flower beds have been planted 
on top of them. . 38 04 08 

1938 04 11 

The First Eastern General Hospital is to be revived as part of a War Office plan. The site has not been 
officially approved but will not be far from Cambridge. It would have 600 beds on mobilisation, 
possibly expanding to 1,200. There will be a permanent staff of three officers and 24 other ranks with 
19 medical officers, a matron and 49 nursing sisters. On mobilisation the staff will be increased by 
other ranks largely composed of V.A.D. men and women. They hoped it would never be called into 
action, but they must be prepared, ex-servicemen were told. 38 04 1 la & b 

1938 04 21 

Cambridge is to be the subject of an ‘air raid’ on July 14th. It is actually an ARP demonstration which 
will take place on Midsummer Common which is to be laid-out in the form of a street and made as 
realistic as possible. The scenario is that several squadrons of enemy aircraft fly over en route to 
Birmingham but are turned back and unload their bombs over Cambridge after they are attacked by 
aeroplanes from Duxford. The whole of the enemy machines are destroyed. Meanwhile the Mayor of 
St Ives, Mr - D. Bryant, has built and air-raid shelter in his garden with the help of his sons. The first in 
the town, he is giving his townspeople a lead. 38 04 21 38 04 22a 

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1938 04 30 

Air Raid Precaution plans contemplate the division of Cambridge into three main areas each of which 
could be operated separately in the event of communication being destroyed in an air raid on one or 
more of the river or railway bridges.. The total personnel required should be not less than 3,300 with 
street wardens dealing with about 500 people. The existing staff of the Corporation, Water, Gas and 
Electricity companies will form a strong nucleus of the personnel required and are being trained in 
anti-gas measures There will have to be co-operation between the Borough and County to give 
mutual assistance in case of need 38 04 30b 

1938 05 03 

Cambridge’s air raid precautions are taking shape with council workers and college staff being trained 
in anti-gas measures and first aid. But volunteers were needed for decontamination, rescue and 
demolition work and 100 messengers, ambulance drivers and despatch riders were wanted. Cherry 
Hinton Hall would be an important centre for training and, if necessary, for a first-aid station. The 
greatest danger in air raids came from high explosive bombs but nothing was included about 
underground shelters. The Government said there is no precaution against bombing; it was the 
council’s duty to look after the injured and see damaged buildings were taken down properly. 38 05 
03 & a 

1938 05 07 

In Cambridgeshire villages 700 air raid wardens had been appointed and 251 trained in simple 
elementary gas precautions. Each resident would be measured for respirators of which there were 
three sizes. There would be five or six centres with mobile apparatus and men trained to render first- 
aid, repair bridges and do decontamination work. The rural area was regarded as one of the least 
vulnerable but Cambridge was one of the most attractive spots for airmen in the world 38 05 07 

1938 06 08 

During an airraid the children attending infants’ and junior schools should disperse to their homes, 
the Air Raid Precautions Committee was told. The responsibility of keeping children at school was 
great. Mothers would certainly come for them. 38 06 08c 

1938 06 11 

A report on A.R.P. progress in Cambridgeshire says 1,100 air raid wardens have been appointed with 
235 trained in anti-gas precautions. Respirators will be stored but not assembled and distributed to 
each village until the emergency arises. A number of buildings have been inspected as first air posts to 
be manned by volunteers trained in decontamination and dealing with gas affected cases. There will 
be mobile parties able to rescue people from damaged buildings. 38 06 1 1 

1938 06 24 

The new Cambridge Guildhall basement could be regarded as splinter-proof and it would not be 
difficult to render it gas-resisting, the Air Raid Precautions Committee heard. If not done they could 
be criticised for allowing a public building without adequate protection and could not ask other stores 
or factories to comply with such regulations. But it would need to have 25 feet of concrete, with earth 
on top, to make it bomb-proof. It was absolutely and entirely impossible. 38 06 24a & b 

1938 07 07 

In Germany practically every civilian had been trained so that in the event of an air raid they knew 
what to do. Cambridge would be divided into 10 minor centres which would act as headquarters for 
the mobile first-aid parties and there would be five main first-aid posts. At least 1,000 volunteers were 
needed but at present only 200 had come forward, mainly women. They could not be expected to 
carry stretchers and do heavy lifting work. Cherry Hinton needed 30 air raid wardens, each looking 
after 120 houses. 38 07 07 

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1938 07 18 

The Spanish people were fighting our battle & the British Government should take strong measures, a 
Conference on Spain in the Cambridge Masonic Hall was told. If Franco were to win as the pawn of 
Mussolini and Hitler another European war would be much closer. Meanwhile a service of prayer on 
behalf of religious persecution in Germany was held at the Synagogue in Thompson’s Lane. 
Cambridge Refugee Committee exists to help all German and Austrian refugees and would be pleased 
to receive gifts of money 38 07 18 & a. Cambridge lorry for Spain - 38 07 16c 

1938 07 19 

Each village should have a utility squad of men or women with knowledge of first aid, buildings and 
fire-fighting who could help in an emergency. Parish councils should establish a first-aid point with 
hot water where a casualty could wash. There might be five distribution stores for about 80,000 
respirators that would be assembled and sent out in cartons to air raid wardens for personal 
distribution, the Home Office suggests 38 07 19a & b 

1938 07 23 

The Air Raid Precautions Committee has constructed several types of household trenches at Ditton 
Lane for demonstration purposes. Two are about six feet below ground level and are roofed in, whilst 
the third is merely an open trench with an embankment around it. Shelters of this type can be 
constructed of any suitable material in the average garden and are strongly recommended as give the 
best practical protection to a man and his family. The duties of Air Raid Wardens were outlined: they 
should be sensible and able to keep their wits in times of stress. 38 07 23 c-e 

1938 08 05 

Some 900 aircraft are taking part in an exercise testing the air defence of Great Britain. The attacking 
force will have 36 bomber squadrons (some from Bassingbourn and Wyton) while the defenders will 
consist of 23 fighter stations and 14 bomber squadrons, including planes from Duxford, Debden, 
Feltwell, Mildenhall and Stradishall. Anti-aircraft and searchlight batteries will be spread across the 
Eastern Counties. Bombers will fly without navigation lights unless other aircraft approach and 
fighters are forbidden from attacking below 1,000 ft 38 08 05a plane crashes at Melbourn - 38 08 
08. Mayor made tour of town, all in darkness apart from one or two lighted windows - 38 08 08b 

1938 08 06 

People in an area from Yorkshire to Buckingham, including Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, should 
extinguish out-door lights on their premises, draw blinds and curtains and take all other measures to 
prevent illumination from being visible during the air defence exercises. Those compelled to travel by 
road during the period must bear in mind that streetlights will be extinguished. If weather conditions 
are such that large numbers of bombers can operate without due risk, intensive raids may be 
anticipated. Fighter patrols will probably be kept away 38 08 06 

1938 09 

St Luke’s school closed Sept so teachers assemble & distribute gas masks [446.12.2] 

1938 09 14 

The Cambridge Scientists’ Anti-War Group, whose book ‘The Protection of the Public from Aerial 
Attack’ was criticised in the House of Commons, has been championed by Prof J.B.S. Haldane. He 
says they should carry out experiments into the effect of gas with the assistance of the Chemical 
Defence Research Department. They have also worked out a scheme for evacuating many of the 
population of Cambridge into surrounding villages 38 09 14a 

1938 09 17 

It has been a momentous week. Those of us involved with the daily production of a newspaper have 
spent a harassing time. Some say that today we know too much of the happenings in the world and 
know it much too quickly. The tension became painfully apparent at the weekend when the world 
waited for Hitler’s pronouncement. Was it to be war. . .? But then a bolt from the blue. ‘The Premier is 

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to fly to see Hitler tomorrow to endeavour to find a peaceful solution to the crisis’. Our fervent hope 
is that international chaos has been adverted 38 09 17a 

1938 09 21 

In the event of air attack schools would be closed for a month as men would not be able to prevent 
their wives from going out to fetch their children. Many homes had no room in which to build shelters 
so two types had been constructed in Ditton Lane; one was open and about six-feet deep but there was 
nothing to prevent a corrugated iron roofing to be placed over the top. The other was covered and had 
seating. They afforded a greater degree of protection than cellars where there was a great danger of 
being buried by masonry, a meeting was told 38 09 21c. 

1938 09 26 

Mayor’s air raid shelter - pic - 38 09 26 

1938 09 27 

The Mayor, E. Saville Peck, writes: “I realise that at this time we are all anxious about the present 
international crisis. I wish to assure the public that so far as practicable the necessary steps in regard 
to A.R.P. are being taken to provide protection against both gas and high explosive. Sufficient gas 
respirators are already in Cambridge and instructions will be issued as to where they can be obtained. 
First aid posts are being organised and equipped. Householders should consider making small 
trenches in their gardens for protection of their families in the case of emergency”. 38 09 26a 

1938 09 27 

Sketch for a garden ARP trench - 38 09 27 
1938 09 28 

Ladies lead the war - women with respirators picture - 38 09 28 
1938 09 28 

Leys school dig ARP trenches - 38 09 28a 
1938 09 29 

Cambridge colleges have sent out notices to undergraduates ordering them not to come into residence 
until further instruction. However examinations will take place as usual and candidates will be 
allowed to come up for them. Meanwhile preparations continue for the reception of 10-1 1,000 
London children it is planned to evacuate. Church halls and schools will be suitable for temporary 
accommodation. Women helpers, blankets and rugs are still needed 38 09 29a 

1938 09 29 

Calmly and without fuss, Cambridge people have started to collect their gas masks in readiness for 
‘come what may’. A steady stream of callers arrived at all distribution centres. Schoolmistress and 
volunteers showed each caller the simple method of fitting the masks on. Tragic was the contrast at 
Milton Road School where during playtime small children shouted ‘We want peace’ while adults 
waited outside to be fitted with their masks. It drove home Mr Chamberlain’s words “How horrible 
that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks because of a quarrel in a far-away country 
between people of whom we know nothing” 38 09 29aa 

1938 09 29 

Air-raid trench in garden, Coleridge Road - 38 09 29aaa 
1938 10 01 

The Mayor said he’d received a telegram that plans to evacuate London children had been cancelled. 
Later he got another saying they were on their way. They arrived in three motor coaches, the 
children’s ages ranging from six weeks to four years. Accommodation was found at Homerton and 

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Newnham College. Their mothers left the children, aged from six weeks to four years, to the tender 
mercies of students and returned to London. Today the babies have rejoined their mothers, which is a 
very happy solution. 38 10 01 

1938 10 07 

William Coad of Cavendish Avenue has come up with an answer to the need for underground A.R.P. 
shelters. His scheme is to construct a sub-way car park underneath Cambridge Market Square with 
inlet and outlet ramps, which, in the event of an emergency, could be converted into an effective 
shelter accommodating several thousand people. A nominal car-parking fee would eventually pay for 
the initial outlay and alleviate the need for suitable garaging for business men coming into the town. 
38 10 07 

1938 10 08 

What to do with gas mask now crisis over - Ronald Searle cartoon - 38 10 08a 
1938 10 11 

Anti-aircraft battalion placed searchlights around Cambridge - thanks - 38 10 1 la 
1938 10 17 

Cambridgeshire Regiment to be raised to war establishment but First Eastern General Hospital will 
not remain and recruiting will cease - 38 10 17 & a 

1938 10 29 

Fireworks, jeers, cheers and shouts punctuated a meeting organised by the University Socialist Club 
addressed by Major Atlee, the Leader of the Opposition, in the Com Exchange. The noise died down 
when he began to speak but there were frequent interruptions caused by exploding fireworks. All 
police leave was cancelled because of the meeting and a visit by Sir Oswald Mosley to the C.U. 
Fascist Association dinner in the Dorothy Cafe. But rowdyism was principally of the vocal kind. 38 
10 29a 

1938 10 31 

Detailed statement of County Air Raid Precautions shows 30 tons of gas masks had been transported 
to Shire Hall where they were assembled by clerical staff and outside helpers. But they were still over 
5,000 respirators short and telegrams had been sent to the Home Office. Parish Councils will establish 
a first-aid point in each centre of population but there will be no public shelters as it was safer for 
people to disperse rather than congregate. They would provide services to meet needs of casualties 
caused by the chance dropping of bombs 38 10 31a 

1938 11 17 

The President of the Cambridge Union Society is amongst signatories of a letter to the German 
Ambassador in London protesting strongly against the barbarous violence and cruel legislation 
inflicted without mercy or justification on the Jews of Germany. “We record our horror and revulsion 
at these acts of collective punishment, deprivation and arbitrary arrest and are appalled at the terrible 
suffering imposed on thousands of men, women and children for no other reason than their race”, it 
reads. The University branch of the League of Nations also passed a resolution in protest 38 11 17 

1938 11 28 

A pacifist convention held in Labour Hall, Norfolk Street under the chairmanship of Dr Alex Wood 
called for every citizen to renounce all participation in and preparation for war. It was a crime against 
humanity and a sin against God. You cannot destroy German militarism through killing German 
soldiers. The colossal expenditure on death should be stopped and our country should take the lead by 
disarming 38 1 1 28 & a 

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1938 12 19 

Cambridgeshire Regiment dinner addressed by Commanding Officer, R.N. Drake Digby. The 
responsibilities resting on the Territorial Army were tremendous. They had got their new Bren guns 
and anti-tank rifles and every man had to learn to use them to be ready to defend Newmarket 38 12 
19 & a 


Air Training Corps formed [Misc.4.2] 

1939 01 11 

Ely RCD discussed the Government’s scheme for the evacuation of civil population. Children would 
have priority; the acceptance of children will be voluntary but those who refuse must accommodate 
other persons. Schools will be required for the education of the children transferred; there would be 
one teacher or helper for ten children. There will be payment of 10s 6d per week where one child is 
taken, and eight and six each for more. Those under school age will be accompanied by their mothers 
or some other person and in these cases householders will only provide lodgings, not board., at the 
rate of five shillings a week for each adult and three shillings for a child. 39 01 11 

1939 01 21 

Evacuation scheme - Mayor sends letter to each home [1.15] 

1939 01 28 

ARP on agenda [1.16] 

1939 02 04 

Spanish Relief Committee meeting attended by members of International Brigade [1.16] 

1939 02 07 

Men and women members of the International Brigade, who have seen service in Spain fighting for 
the Government, spoke at the Guildhall which was almost filled to capacity. The meeting was called 
by the Cambridge Co-ordinating Committee for Spanish Relief. In Spain rickets was becoming rife, 
hunger dropsy was beginning to appear and anaemia was present. Between 300 and 400 people were 
dying from actual starvation in Madrid every day. For the first time in history in America surplus food 
was not being destroyed but was being sent to Spain. 39 02 07 

1939 02 07 

The Auxiliary Fire Service wound up their training at Cherry Hinton Hall with a demonstration using 
specially made incendiary bombs. Two were used to set fire to a house of boxes kindly donated by 
local tradesmen which was tackled using an ordinary hand-pump with a spray jet. Many important 
lessons were learned. The bombs give off intense heat and coloured glasses must be worn by the 
fireman to protect his eyes. The application of water increases the ferocity of the flames. 39 02 07a 

1939 03 03 

Trenches dug Midsummer Common [7.6] 

1939 03 03 

Cambridge is to raise a 600 bed Military Hospital (Territorial) with an establishment of 23 officers, 50 
nursing sisters and 145 other ranks. Steps are being taken to provide temporary accommodation for 
officers and social purposes pending the erection of permanent buildings. This new unit replaces the 
original 1st Eastern General raised in Cambridge and the Isle of Ely in 1908. After the war, the 
hospital was disbanded, but in 1938 it was reconstituted under the command of Lt.-Col. C. H. Budd. 
M.C. T.D. 39 03 03 CIPof 

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1939 03 22 

The Basque Children’s Hostel is still in need of support. The children came over in 1937 and moved 
to the present hostel in 1938. The conquest of the greater part of Spain by Franco and his Fascist 
friends meant their parents were scattered and it was dangerous for them to return. Several businesses 
had given valuable support including Chivers and Pordage. It was a very happy home. There had been 
no bullying or dishonesty. Three of the boys were at garages being trained as motor mechanics, one 
girl was a dressmaker, another a laboratory assistant 39 03 22a 

1939 03 28 

Cambridge members of the Women’s Voluntary Services for Civil Defence are being trained as 
ambulance and car drivers. A feature of the classes is tuition in driving in the dark in gas masks and 
without lights and in changing wheels, fuses etc under the same conditions. This instruction is being 
given by Mr North of Messrs Marshall’s, Jesus Lane. Women wishing to enrol for this important 
National Service should apply to the W.V.S., Old Post Office, St Andrew’s Street - 39 03 28 

1939 03 29 

Defence Cadet Corps Squadron formed - 39 03 29 & a 
1939 03 30 

The A.R.P. First Aid post at Auckland Road will be staffed by a doctor and trained nurse and give 
more extensive first-aid. Two practices have already taken place. A sham air raid was enacted last 
night with casualties brought in by ambulance and unloaded by stretcher bearers. Nurses and orderlies 
under the direction of Dr Walker, dealt with them. Realism was added by squibs which were let off 
and red paint was used to give the impression of real wounds. 39 03 30 & a 

1939 04 06 

St Regis luxury flats, Chesterton Road. A unique feature is the provision of a large air raid shelter 
built under the garages. It has a concrete roof and will be perfectly safe against all but a direct hit by a 
heavy bomb. Provision has been made for gas-proofing it in case of emergency. 39 04 06a 

1939 04 17 

The old First Eastern General Hospital had been born again last year, but it had a short life and died in 
the September crisis. Then the Cabinet decided to form eight Territorial General Hospitals and it was 
revived as the “2nd (1st Eastern) General Hospital”. There are 23 officers and 145 other ranks, a 
matron and nurses and it will have the same number of beds, about 600. Old Comrades can assist 
training recruits in the initial stages, they were told at their annual dinner 39 04 17 

1939 04 19 

Sir Will Spens, Master of Corpus Christi College, has been appointed Commissioner for the Eastern 
Region under the Civil Defence Scheme, with Lord Eltisley as his deputy to direct Civil Defence on 
behalf of the Government in war-time from 12 cities and towns throughout Great Britain for three 
years as from April 1 . 39 04 2 1 CIPof 39 04 19 

1939 04 19 

British Portland Cement has constructed an emergency headquarters at the disused Saxon Cement 
Works in Coldham’s Lane. Built by William Sindall it includes a complete set of offices with 
bombproof shelters and all A.R.P. necessities. There are two decontamination rooms with gas proof 
windows and splinter-proof steel shutters. Seven bomb-proof dugouts covered with eight inches of 
reinforced ferro-concrete and two feet of earth can each accommodate 30 people. It has an air- 
filtration plant, central heating and electricity supplied from an accumulator driven by a crude oil 
engine 39 04 19b & c 

1939 04 19 

National service and ARP: the young man’s job: prepare today. How you can help yourself - articles 
explaining situation - 39 04 19d & f 

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1939 04 19 

Lavender & Bateman for air raid shelters of all kinds - advertisement - 39 04 19e 
1939 04 19 

Air raid precautions. Every house should have a refuge room. A cellar or basement is the best. The 
stronger the walls, floor or ceiling the better. If possible the room should be without windows. If this 
is impossible steps can be taken to lessen the danger of the windows being blown in by blast and so 
perhaps allow the entry of gas-laden air. Sandbags or boxes filled with earth should be placed outside 
them. Otherwise trenches can be dug seven foot deep with at least two entrances and covered with 
corrugated iron topped with two feet of earth. Keep these pages for future reference - 39 04 19 e,f, g, 

1939 04 22 

An appeal was made for townspeople to join the army of National Service. Cambridge requires 540 
air wardens, 189 special constables and 90 men for the auxiliary fire service. Women could join the 
Land Army, nursing or first-aid services or help with the evacuation of children. The world is in the 
hands of certain irresponsible and uncontrolled men. Vast multitudes had lined the streets of Berlin to 
cheer their leader, the man who had massacred the liberties of two neighbouring people. We need to 
be ready 39 04 22 

1939 04 29 

In the event of war there would be several hundred thousand casualties in the first few weeks. 
Cambridge was tolerably safe from air raids but patients would be transferred to Addenbrooke's 
Hospital from other areas. But there was a shortage of nurses. A nurse could do a great deal for a 
casualty with no hospital, but a hospital could do nothing for a casualty without a doctor and a nurse - 
39 04 29 & a 

1939 05 01 

It is unlikely that the Water Company’s source of supply, the Fleam Dyke pumping station, would be 
chosen as a target by enemy bombers or that a direct could put both duplicate sets of machinery out of 
action. However the disused Fulbourn pumping station has been completely reconditioned as a 
precaution. But if Cambridge was raided it is almost inevitable that water mains would sustain 
considerable damage the Manager said. The Company supplied water to 8 1 ,000 people but this may 
well be increased to over 1 10,000 by evacuations from London, 39 05 01 & a 

1939 05 03 

If war came some kind of press censorship would be inevitable, the Home Secretary told the 
Newspaper Society dinner. Retiring President, Captain A.C. Taylor, Managing Director of the CDN, 
said the provincial newspaper editor was very discrete and trustworthy but must make a true and 
faithful record of events as they take place. Only a free Press, unfettered by Government interference, 
can be looked upon as a true Press, and a faithful record of everyday affairs 39 05 03b 

1939 05 05 

Air raid trenches would not protect people in event of air raid. Seven minutes would elapse after the 
warning before the planes were here. During that time head wardens had to get their wardens out of 
bed and they, in turn, had to get people out of their beds into the trenches. Under this scheme 30,000 
people would be turned out into the darkened streets where there might be a lot of transport. Instead 
steel shelters should be provided, councillors were told. Cambridge was a safe place and trenches 
were practically no defence against aerial bombing. And they were narrow: young men will be 
touching knees with girls (Laughter) 39 05 05 & a ,39 05 1 1 & a 

1939 05 08 

The Ely and Chatteris area would receive about 9,000 evacuees in three days, the W.V.S. was told. 
Accommodation offered for the children far exceeded the number that would be billeted, but there 

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was not sufficient accommodation for adults. The first batch of evacuees would arrive at Ely at 
1.05pm, bringing 1,000 and the second train at 5.35. The receiving stations in Ely would be Silver 
Street and Broad Street schools and the W.V.S. could escort them to their billets. Food would be 
provided but the authorities did not have the means to prepare or serve it 39 05 08 & a, 

1939 05 13 

Ronald Searle cartoon having joined Royal Engineers - 39 05 13a 
1939 05 15 

Committee discuss ARP trenches - “might waste -£50,000 [1.18] 

1939 05 20 

2,500 Undergraduates packed Churchill Meeting in Corn Exchange, voted to gladly accept the 
measure of conscription involved in the Military Training Bill. Churchill was occasionally interrupted 
by cheers, ironic laughter, and cries but generally speaking, the meeting passed off quietly. What 
violence there was occurred outside. Long before the meeting was due to start a queue formed up 
outside, and some of those unable to get in attempted to force an entrance. A rush was made on the 
west door and in the course of the melee, a policeman lost his helmet. Other officers repelled attempts 
to enter by the main door. A crowd of undergraduates several hundred strong remained in Com 
Exchange Street until a proctor ordered them to disperse. 39 05 26 CIPof [7.7] 39 05 24a 

1939 05 26 

Cambridgeshire Regiment raised a second battalion. From now onwards, those applying will be 
placed on a waiting list. 39 05 26 CIPof 

1939 06 03 

Under the Military Training Act, 1939, the names of some 1,200 undergraduates and 800 other men 
aged 21 are being registered at the Senate House and the Central School. Medical examinations will 
begin next week and men allocated into four grades, one being unfitness for any degree of service. 

The others will then be interviewed by the War Office to determine their most appropriate allocation 
39 06 03 

1939 06 29 

Emergency plans envisage that as London will probably be attacked before Cambridge the County 
Infirmary should provide for 250 casualties from Central London. The Ministry would provide 
bedding and equipment but mattresses and pillows would be supplied as cases only, to be filled as 
required. It would be up-graded with an operating theatre and X-ray rooms, emergency lighting and 
better sanitary conveniences. But in the event of local casualties the London cases would be 
transferred to other hospitals 39 06 29 

1939 07 08 

During the forthcoming ‘Black Out’ test there will be something like a thousand people taking part. 
There will be no general alarm but air raid signals will be transmitted by telephone to the various 
centres. You will be relieved to know that no houses are to be set on fire (!) but a red lamp and 
smoking candle will indicate than an outbreak of fire has occurred and wardens finding them will call 
the brigade. There will also be casualties of various kinds in the streets with labels on them to signify 
they are ‘injured’. Streets lights will be extinguished and motorists asked to drive with sidelights. 39 
07 08 

1939 07 10 

Perse School Scout Troop demonstrated the way they can assist in an emergency. Into the arena 
strolled a group of passers-by, then came the wail of a siren leading to a mad rush for an ARP shelter. 
Exploding rockets gave a hint of realism to the scene. Scouts ran to various ‘casualties’ and treated 
their ‘wounds’. Afterwards the wounded were carried on emergency stretchers made of Scouts’ staves 

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placed through the arms of overcoats and mackintoshes. The wounded took great care to make 
themselves comfortable on this rather uncomfortable mode of transport. 39 07 10 

1939 07 14 

An exercise demonstrated war-time black-out conditions in Cambridge. Streets lamps were turned 
out, speed limit signs extinguished and red hurricane lamps were placed on traffic islands. The 
external lights on police boxes were also put out and the bulbs removed as an additional precaution. 
Most vehicles drove slowly with only side and rear lights and cars using head-lights were stopped. 
Lights at the railway station were left on but carriage blinds on the 1 1.55 from London were drawn at 
Bishop’s Stortford 39 07 14 

1939 07 14 

The A.R.P. exercise envisaged that an incendiary bomb had fallen on the Tivoli Cinema and no water 
was available from the hydrant. Within a few minutes a van-drawn Scammel pump pulled up outside. 
Firemen transported the pump to the riverside from which a hose was laid to a portable canvas dam 
near the burning building. There were four casualties - presumably usherettes, two suffering serious 
burns. Eighteen lorries were used as ambulances with an illuminated red cross on the front. 37 07 14a 

1939 07 15 

Although a considerable number of Militiamen from Cambridge travelled to their depots the scene at 
Cambridge railway station was little different from a normal Saturday. I expected to see goodbye and 
good luck messages being given to the first of the young men who are to give the next six months to 
the service of their country. But there were no martial strains to cheer them on their way. The 
explanation is that the men were free to travel as they wished and by travelling in small parties they 
avoided any publicity - and any reporters 39 07 15a 

1939 07 21 

British Legion veterans & Territorials took part in the huge rally on Jesus Green. Line upon line they 
stood in front of the platform from which the service, which formed part of the rally, was conducted, 
medals gleaming on every breast. To one side of the serried ranks was a space reserved for the 
standards. Twenty thousand spectators were in attendance. A far wider audience heard the service, for 
it was broadcast. A ceremonial march that preceded the service provided an impressive spectacle. An 
address was given by Admiral of the Fleet the Rt Hon. Lord Chatfield, Minister for the Co-ordination 
of Defence. 39 07 21 CIPof 

1939 07 28 

Waterbeach Aerodrome - proposed acquiring by the Air Ministry of County Council land at 
Winfield Farm, Waterbeach, as an aerodrome. The Council had 20 tenants there. Two of them won 
cups for the best smallholdings this year; both lost legs in the war. The Committee wrote to 
MP and made a strong protest to the Air Ministry. They said there was nowhere else they could 
possibly go. 39 07 28 CIPof 

1939 08 04 

Big Black-Out Test. — Cambridgeshire part of a gigantic black-out test. Twenty-five counties, in 
which the County and City of Fondon will be included, will be in complete darkness — or as near to it 
as possible — on the night of August 9-10. More than half of England (from the Isle of Wight up to 
Fincolnshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire) will be included in the biggest black-out test ever 
attempted. In all places, except the London region, the test will start at midnight. Request that there 
shall not be any light to interfere what is aimed at a 100 per cent, black-out. R.A.F. observers will be 
flying to report on the results of the great darkness, which is to approach as near to war conditions as 
possible. 39 08 04 CIPof 

1939 08 19 

Tribunal consider conscientious objectors [1.20] 

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1939 08 24 

Should lighting regulations be brought into force motor car side and rear lamps must have electric 
light bulbs not exceeding seven watts, acetylene lamp burners must not consume more that 14 litres 
per hour and in oil lamps only one burner must be used. Light may be emitted only through a single 
aperture facing to the front or rear of the car of not more than two inch diameter. Front glasses must 
be obscured with white tissue paper or paint. Head lamps may be used provided the whole of the 
reflector is blackened. 39 08 24, a 

1939 08 24 

Shoppers at Cambridge’s Woolworth stores were suddenly shepherded outside as part of an A.R.P. 
test. The staff had been warned but customers were quite in the dark when whistles blew just before 
the usual Thursday closing time. Four of the girls behind the counters approached the 250 customers 
on both floors and asked them to leave as a test was in progress. Others opened all the tills and put the 
money into bags, then made for the ‘safety room’ at the back of the store. Within two minutes fifteen 
seconds all money was placed in a fire-proof safe, the lights were out, the doors locks and the store’s 
fire-fighting squad had their equipment ready for action. 39 08 24b 

1939 08 25 

Complete confidence in Cambridge preparations against air attack was experienced by Aid. W. L. 
Briggs (Chairman of the Cambridge A.R.P. Committee): "I feel that we shall be able, in case of 
emergency, to put up a thorough working skeleton organisation which we shall make every endeavour 
to enlarge as the necessity arises. With the volunteers that we have got we have worked persistently to 
put into operation all the necessary measures. But it must be realised that from the first we have been, 
from the Government point of view, a non-vulnerable area, and this has restricted us very much in 
making the preparations which we think are necessary, but every section has persistently and 
thoroughly worked out the details of their duties. First aid is trained and equipped as far as possible." 
With regard to the evacuation scheme”, Aid. Briggs added: "Everything has been worked out to the 
fullest detail, both with regard to reception, billeting, feeding and medical attention" 39 08 25 CIPof 

1939 08 25 

In view of the crisis all police leave has been cancelled and special constables have been called up. 
The Fitzwilliam Museum is packing valuable items so they can be removed should the situation 
worsen and cinemas warned they will be closed in the event of war. Kerbs at street comers have been 
painted white in readiness for any black-out. There was a constant stream of people collecting gas- 
masks and a steady demand for black paper and curtains. Prayers for peace will be said at churches 
and it is hoped that Hitler will see it is suicidal to attempt to make war 39 08 25a 

1939 08 28 

There are to be two anti-aircraft batteries and one anti-aircraft signalling unit based in Cambridge. 
Recruiting for the batteries opens at 45 Parkside and Salisbury Villas for the signalling unit. 
Cambridge has already responded to the call for National Service. The Cambridgeshire Regiment is 
over establishment, the Royal Engineers unit, 2nd General Hospital and the Cambridge National 
Defence Company are complete. A second Auxiliary Territorial 1939 Service (clerical) company for 
women will also be raised. 39 08 28 

1939 08 29 

First ARP shelter at junction Cherry Hinton Road & Perne road - 39 08 29 
1939 08 29 

Air-raid siren set off accidentally at Waterworks in Rustat Road - 39 08 29a 
1939 08 30 

Addenbrooke's Hospital & Police station guarded by sandbags - 38 08 30a & b 

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1939 08 31 

Police station sandbags photo - 39 08 31a 
1939 08 31 

Evacuation from London begins - 39 08 3 1 
1939 08 31 

Lloyd’s Bank practiced evacuating their staff to air raid shelters in the two strong rooms adjoining the 
main hall of the bank. Those in Lloyds Bank Chambers used a specially constructed cat-walk over the 
roof to the fire escape window. The two strong rooms are situated one below the other and a trapdoor 
will supply a means of escape should one of the entrances become blocked. In the event of a raid 
customers can accompany the staff or seek the nearest public shelter in wine vaults under Peas Hill 
39 08 31 

1939 09 01 

Poland invokes treaty with Britain, Full scale attach by Polish troops, gas masks, evacuees - front 
page stories 38 09 01 

1939 09 01 

An experimental gas mask drill was held for Ramsden Square children. Over 100 assembled and were 
instructed in the proper use of the gas masks by the senior warden, Mr E. Winkworth. They were told 
a whistle would sound in the event of an air raid, that the sound of a rattle would indicate a gas attack 
and a bell would sound when it was safe for them to come from their shelters. Aeroplanes roared 
overhead as the children were instructed 39 09 01b 

1939 09 01 

Compulsory powers of billeting are now in force in Cambridge. Enough voluntary offers have been 
received to take in all the children who are coming in school parties. But expectant mothers and those 
with young children are also expected and householders will be required to house them. The payment 
is five shillings a week for each adult and three shilling for each child for lodging only. The adults 
will be responsible for their food. The third class comprise voluntary helpers from the evacuated areas 
working full time in Cambridge. The payment for them will be twenty-one shillings for board and 
lodging which will be paid by the Government. 39 09 01c 

1939 09 01 

First Air Raid shelter erected, for wardens [7. 10] 

1939 09 01 

The first children who have been separated from their London families by the dark threat of war 
arrived at Cambridge station. The train contained 800 boys and girls, all had a label bearing their 
name and address, a few carried a football, several had oranges. They were handed bags containing 
their rations and helped on to the waiting buses 39 09 Ola 39 04 04b 

1939 09 04 

CDN reduced to four pages due war conditions - 39 09 04a. Censorship started : based on idea that 
contents of every journal would be known in Germany in 24 hours; banned references to Royal 
Family, bombing - may not mention places, no report of air crashes unless civilian property or people 
involved & no mention of weather - could not mention wet roads or fog which may have led to 
crashes [9.1] 

1939 09 04 

Cambridge had its first air raid warning in the early hours of the morning and hundreds of 
householders left their beds and adjourned to lower rooms. Others, however, slept through the noise 
of the sirens. One householder, doubtful about the efficiency of their black-out wrapped a woollen 
scarf round the electric light. Shortly afterwards they donned their gas masks after noticing a very 

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pungent smell. Later they noticed it came from the scarf which had been charred through. The alarm 
was caused by the passing of unidentified aircraft over the Eastern Counties. Fighter aircraft went up 
to investigate 39 09 04 

1939 09 08 

Blow Falls. Well, (writes Watchman), the blow has fallen at last. When I wrote this feature last week, 
there was still hope that hostilities would not break out, but Hitler has decided otherwise, and now the 
whole country and Empire is rallying with France to fight for a great principle . . . We enter the 
conflict regretfully, but resolutely, and fully confident that we shall win through . . . The new lighting 
restrictions have made progress difficult and strange during the last few days, but we are gradually 
becoming used to the new conditions . . . One day this week the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries 
broadcast an important message to farmers and the rural community generally. He said that the 
farmer's main job is to increase, in an orderly fashion, our home production of essential foodstuffs — a 
task just as vital to the nation as that which has to be carried out by our armed forces. As far as the 
immediate after-harvest plans are concerned, the majority of farmers must think in terms of ploughing 
up more land, both for supply of human food and animal feeding stuffs. The immediate task is to 
plough up as much land as possible for next year's harvest. 39 09 08 CIPof 

1939 09 08 

War Measures at Cambridge. Banks, buses and libraries are among the services affected by the 
situation. Mr. A. Cousin, the Eastern Counties Company District Traffic Supt., said that after -dark bus 
services had had to be curtailed, owing to lighting restrictions "and of course, the cinema buses are 
not running at the moment, as there are no cinemas open." Both lending departments and reading 
rooms of the public libraries in the borough are closing by sunset, in view of the lighting regulations. 
Banking hours have also been altered. They are now from 1.0 to 2 from Monday to Friday and 10 to 1 
on Saturdays. This week the stained glass in the east window of King's College Chapel was removed. 
It was being packed and taken to a place of safety. 39 09 08 CIPof 

1939 09 08 

Evacuees at Cambridge. - first of the children arrived at Cambridge from Fondon on Friday. During 
the weekend many others arrived and were dealt with. On Friday, numerous helpers gathered at the 
station. Among them were a number of Rangers who came on duty at six o'clock in the morning to fill 
the "ration bags" ready for distribution among the evacuees destined for the county on their arrival.39 
09 08 CIPof [1.11,7.9] 

1939 09 09 

“Cambridge transformed - townsmen gone, evacuees here, strangers working away from London, 
unfamiliar garb, sandbag walls rising, darkened streets ...” [1.21] 

1939 09 09 

Kings college chapel glass removed from East window, eventually only 4 of 26 windows left, rest 
[largely glass but mostly boarding; some ask ‘what use windows if building destroyed?’ Ordinary 
houses protect windows with sandbags etc [1.21,3.13,7.2] 

1939 09 15 

Trenches constructed Milton Road school, followed by County High School [7.1 1,7.12] 

1939 09 15 

War-time Farming Push. — The war has come at a time of the year that gives farming the best possible 
opportunity to prepare for the great effort it must now make in the defence of our country (writes 
Watchman). Harvest is nearly finished, and has turned out better than at one time seemed possible. 
Given reasonable weather, farmers will be able to push on with their normal early cultivations and 
supplement them with ploughing up even more land, for another 1 Vi million acres of land must be 
brought under the plough this coming year. It is an ambitious programme, for we are attempting in 
one, year what we only achieved in four years in the last war .... Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire 

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are expected to have little difficulty in supplying and probably exceeding, their allotted contributions 
towards the 1 ,500,000 acres of land which the Minister of Agriculture proposes to bring under the 
plough this autumn. 39 09 15 CIPof 

1939 09 16 

Public ARP shelters open Peas Hill, problems when locked, 40 08 20 [1.23, 1.24,7.] 

1939 09 18 

The University Arms pleaded guilty to failing to obscure lights in the hotel and preventing them being 
visible outside the building. Mr Bradford, the manager, said he had 400 windows and 40 skylights. It 
had been impossible to screen all these within 36 hours of war being declared. The skylight in the 
kitchen took four men three days to screen properly. Four of the six hotel porters who would have 
done the work had been called up and although they’d bought dark blinds some light shone through 
little cracks. They’d also put notices in each room asking visitors not to open the windows until they 
had put the lights out. 39 09 18 & a Geldhart public house, Sleaford Street also accused 

1939 09 23 

County council employees called up to fight will have their army wages made up to what they would 
have received. But what other employer would think off making up salaries in this way? They were 
already more fortunate than others because their jobs would be kept open for them. But they would 
have to be replaced meaning wages and salaries would be re-duplicated. Many people in business 
would have to close, others were working for nothing. Properties would fall into the hands of the 
receivers and rateable values go down, councillors heard 39 09 23 Cambridge does same - 39 09 25 

1939 10 03 

Many University staff have already left Cambridge since the start of the war and students from 
London and St Bartholomew’s Hospital have joined students at the Medical School. Undergraduates 
will continue their studies 39 10 03 & a 

1939 10 05 

Dressmaker, hairdresser, dancing expert, officer clerk, shop assistant and television worker. All these 
are working side by side potato picking, milking cows, muck spreading and clearing out pigsties at the 
Cambridge University Farm on Huntingdon Road. The girls are members of the Women’s Land Army 
undergoing a month’s training before being sent to work for fanners. The majority are in their late 
teens and early twenties but some are older. One has her two grown-up daughters with her; her son 
and his brother are doing their bit in the Tank Corps in France. 39 10 05 

1939 10 09 

The majority of basements in Cambridge are useless as public air raid shelters since they need to be 
capable of holding between 50 and 100 people. But those at Herbert Robinson’s Garage in Regent 
Street, Zion Baptist Church, Mr Wheatley’s in Sturton Street and Potts’ Mineral Water Works in 
Castle Street are suitable. However these are not enough and shelters should be constructed in various 
areas. They will be of brick and concrete and accommodate 50 people. Shelters in schools should be 
available for the public during the night and at week-ends. 39 10 09a 

1939 10 11 

Air Raid precautions committee have ensured that petrol supplies will be available for special services 
and several garages have reserved tanks and pumps for them. There are decontaminating centres at 
Mill Road store yard, Cherry Hinton Hall and Victoria Road. First aid depots have been set up at 
Shirley and other Schools with first aid parties and two ambulances. Electrically controlled sirens 
have been installed which together with the steam sirens should be adequate to give necessary 
warnings 39 10 1 1 

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Cambridge Military/International Politics Scrapbook 1920 to 1939, by Mike Petty 

1939 10 12 

ARP shelter under construction at Christ’s Pieces - photo - 39 10 12 
1939 10 13 

Happy Evacuees. A suggestion that there should be a re-shuffling of evacuees around Cambs. 
villages, drew a spirited protest from Cambs. Education Committee. The number of evacuated 
children of school age attending public elementary schools was 4,289, made up of 2,713 in school 
parties and 1,679 others. Three hundred and sixty-six secondary school children had been 
evacuated. Extraordinary good feeling between evacuated teachers and our own teachers. 39 10 13 

1939 10 13 

Happy evacuees from the poorer parts of London enjoyed a birthday party for ‘Little Joan’. She had 
told her new ‘mummy’ that she had never had a birthday party before and it added to her happiness to 
share it with chums from Fulham. Joan enjoys her ‘holiday’ home and only wants to go back ‘now 
and again’. She would like her mother to come and see her in Cambridge. But mum cannot afford the 
trip. Other children are saving their money to pay their own mummy’s fare. 39 10 13a 

1939 10 20 

Call-up - between 600 and 800 students and townsmen will be affected by the first proclamation 
under the National Service (Armed Forces) Act, 1939. The smallness of the number is accounted for 
by the fact that many men in this age group have already joined the Forces. On Saturday, October 
21, - the anniversary of Trafalgar - all men who on October 21 were between the age of 20 years 
and 22 years, are required to register at the Senate House, King's Parade 39 10 20 CIPof 

1939 10 27 

Undergraduates help building sandbag walls etc [7.13] 

1939 10 27 

Hitler’s bombs will have no effect on the air raid shelter in the basement of Herbert Robinson’s 
garage in Regent Street which is not only the largest in Cambridge but impregnable even from a direct 
hit. It has three steel reinforced floors above the actual basement which comprise the shelter. Experts 
say that even if the first or second floors were damaged by a direct hit from a bomb, people sheltered 
would still be immune. It comprises 6,000 square feet and has accommodation for over 700 people 39 
10 27a 

1939 10 28 

The Food Officer in Cambridge (Mr C.H. Kemp) and his stall of about 100 have been busy preparing 
ration books for the time when the Government brings the scheme into operation within the next three 
weeks. Workers, some volunteers, others recruited from the Ministry of Labour, have prepared 500 
cards a day. Now all is ready. Rationed foods will be meat, bacon, ham, butter, margarine, cooking 
fats (including lard and dripping) and sugar. There will be an ordinary ration book, another for 
children under six, one for travellers and a supplemental book for boys aged 13-18 who are 
considered to need more meat than the average adult. 39 10 28 

1939 11 01 

A.F.S. station - men waiting call to action, photo - 39 1 1 Ola 
1939 11 02 

ARP trenches, Brunswick school - photo - 39 1 1 02 
1939 11 04 

Cambridge is a much more cheerful place in the black-out today than it was when the war started. 
Then cyclists and pedestrians were few and it felt like a dead city. Now with theatres and cinemas 

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going strong there is plenty of life and the whole atmosphere has changed. But with more traffic 
comes more danger. Some motorists and cyclists go too fast in the darkened streets. But the worst 
offenders are pedestrians dawdling in the roadway without any thought for the poor people awheel 
who with dim lights have to thread their way through the streets. 39 1 1 04 

1939 11 08 

Cambridge Fire Boat trial - photo - 39 1 1 08 
1939 11 13 

The Conscientious Objectors Tribunal under Judge W. Lawson Campbell heard its first cases. A 
teacher from St Faith’s School thought war was incompatible with the teaching of Jesus Christ, a clerk 
at the Cambridge Electrical Supply Company was a member of the Peace Pledge Union & believed 
military training led to the decadence of the human race while an undergraduate said he felt war 
degraded humanity but would do medical work. 38 11 13 & a; also 39 1 1 14, 39 1 1 15, 39 1 1 16a & b 

1939 11 16 

A letter from the Rev ‘Tubby’ Clayton was read when Cambridge Toe H Club opened above no. 13 
Corn Exchange Street, a place which three weeks ago was a home for pigeons. With the town 
labouring under the restrictions of black-out it was in need of a place where Service men can read, 
write and play games. On Sundays they can bring their lady friends. Above the entrance are these 
words: “All ra nk abandon ye who enter here”. 39 1 1 16c 

1939 11 28 

Air Raid Precautions. Testing of air raid warning sirens. In accordance with instructions from the 
Ministry of Home Security, all air raid warning sirens in Cambridge will be tested at 1pm on the first 
day of each month. If an air raid warning is received on a day when tests are to be held the signal will 
be reinforced by a free use of whistles by wardens and police. Any siren which has been sounded for 
real during an alert will not be tested the following month - C.H. Kemp. Town Clerk 39 1 1 28 

1939 11 29 

Some classrooms in Trumpington and St Paul’s schools were ‘dark pits’ because of first-aid depots 
being placed in schools. There was a great danger of sandbags making the rooms damp and as 
classrooms were being used for people to sleep in all night it was difficult to get them aired, 
councillors were told. It was also alarming to see enormous laundry vans standing in narrow 
playgrounds which have to be manoeuvred when the children were about. But at Cherry Hinton there 
was nowhere else they could go. However three halls there were being used by children now. If they 
were not fit for first-aid posts, they were not fit to teach children in, Mrs Rackham said. 39 1 1 29c 

1939 12 01 

A Clare College undergraduate told the Conscientious Objectors’ Tribunal that he hoped to do 
psychological work. The idea had come into his head while working in a Basque children’s camp 
when he noticed that many of them had a kind of fit at the sound of an aeroplane. He was registered 
on condition he continued his studies. A shop assistant from Hinton Avenue, who was a lay reader in 
the Methodist Church, was registered on condition he undertook agricultural work. A man from 
Fulbrooke Road objected on religious grounds; he was a research physicist at the Cavendish 
Laboratory while a King’s College graduate appealed on moral grounds. He was prepared and anxious 
to perform non-combatant service. 39 1201d&e 

1939 12 08 

A News reporter inspected all types of shelter and was impressed with the comparative comfort of the 
interiors. The person who looks for armchairs will be disappointed, but in some of the larger 
basements there is plenty of space to walk about and in some there is even central heating. Most 
shelters have been constructed to withstand any likely fall of masonry and air locks to keep out gas 
have been installed. The have been arranged within a short distance of areas such as the centre of 
town where there are usually considerable congregations of people. They are primarily intended for 

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the protection of people caught in the streets in an emergency. Nine are now ready with the cellars 
under Peas Hill holding 400 people 39 12 08b 

1939 12 15 

More shelters being erected [7.14] 

1939 12 15 

Black-out Deaths. Two women have died in accidents which occurred in the black-out. In one case, 
where the woman was killed almost instantly, the accident occurred in the Trumpington road, near the 
Evelyn Nursing Home. Miss Mabel Timms was struck by a lorry owned by Dickerson. The other was 
at the junction of Histon Road and Gilbert Road. Maria Elizabeth Smith was knocked down by a bus 
39 12 15 CIPof 

1939 12 18 

Police are dragging the river for two local cyclists who disappeared during the black-out after they 
had set out to cycle to their homes. Following a report that what appeared to be two cycles had been 
seen lying on the bed of the river near Dant’s Bridge police commenced dragging and recovered a 
lady’s machine. Later a man’s cycle was brought to the surface. They have been identified as 
belonging to the missing couple. The man could swim but had a disabled leg due to a football injury. 
The girl is the daughter of a stone mason and worked at a local factory. 39 12 18 & a 

1939 12 22 

Petrol rationing is focussing attention on town gas as an alternative fuel for motor vehicles. One of the 
Cambridge University and Town Gas Light Company’s coke lorries has just been fitted with a gas 
container to enable it to run without petrol. The lorry carries enough gas for 1 1 or 12 miles, which is 
adequate for deliveries of coke in the district. The range could be extended by putting a second bag on 
the trailer 39 12 22 

1939 12 23 

For two years a small community of Basque children have been our guests. Cambridge has become 
familiar with the little black-eyed, black-haired boys and girls and has enjoyed watching them dance 
and sing. They arrived under tragic circumstances, racked and nervous; the peace and quiet of the 
country village of Pampisford, redeemed and restored them. Now they have been adopted into English 
homes until they can return in safety to their own beloved land of Spain. Now a booklet has been 
published about their experiences 39 12 23 

1939 12 27 

War could not ‘black-out’ the Christmas Eve Festival of nine lessons and carols at King’s. From the 
crowded chapel the message of peace and goodwill travelled by wireless across Europe to France, 

Italy and Switzerland. The candles flickered even after black-out for a test showed no dangerous 
amount of light could be seen from outside. But there were dark, blank spaces among the rich glory of 
the stained windows which told of the removal of some of the glass for safety’s sake. 39 12 27a 

1939 12 28 

Cambridge public air raid shelters are nearing completion and the public is urged to visit specimen 
shelters. When complete there will be 60 new public shelters accommodating 6,700 people. They 
include the basement at Scroope House and the Union Society - detailed survey 39 12 28a 

1939 12 29 

Christmas, 1939 has meant more solemn thoughts than usual for many. In countless homes, the 
traditional joy and gaiety has been tempered by absence of one or more members of the family. And 
yet, in spite of gaps at the dinner table, and because the advice to carry on as usual is so obviously 
sound, there has been little outward change in the character of the Christmas festival. In Cambridge, 
as elsewhere, people remembered their absent ones, but through the inspiring co-operation of the 
radio, were able to satisfy themselves that the men in the Services were not forgotten. At home, it was 

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the usual day of gifts — the children's day — and for many the delight lay in entertaining little evacuees 
whose parents were unable to do the job themselves. The change in the times was reflected, perhaps, 
in the opening of some cinemas on Christmas day, but found themselves comparatively few patrons; it 
was still a home festival for most. The Town club had their usual football fixture in the morning, but 
this had to be scratched. On Boxing Day their fixture with Rushden resulted in a decisive win for 
Cambridge. Another regular feature was the appearance of the Christmas Day bathers, who found not 
thick ice, but a deep fog to greet them. 39 12 29 CIPof 

1939 12 30 

Communist Party pamphlet on Cambridge in war described as “sheer effrontery” [1.25] 

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